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Pearls of Grace - January 3

  • 2016 Jan 03

January 3

Burnt Offerings

"…Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."

Genesis 22:2

A burnt offering is the only offering where the entire sacrifice was laid upon the altar. Nothing was withheld from the fire and it was an offering that was voluntary. It was an offering made, not out of duty or command, but from a heart that desired to do so, a free will that wanted to keep nothing for itself. God had called Abraham to do the unthinkable; to offer freely, his only son, all of him, upon the altar of the Lord. A son that God knew Abraham loved dearly for He acknowledges this in His words to him. If God knew that Abraham loved his son, then why would God ask such a thing of him? Did He expect Abraham to offer his only son up so freely, without question, without reservation? How could God demand such a gift to be given, require such a price to be paid? Was God cruel in His request? Did He care what pain it would bring to Abraham’s heart? Our greatest battles are not those we fight with the devil, but those we fight with God Himself.

What torment of soul must have fell upon Abraham as God’s words descended upon him. This was no ordinary son. He was given to Abraham in his old age at the word of God. Through the descendants of Isaac, God would send His only Son, Jesus, and offer Him up as an offering for the sin of all mankind. God understood what was at stake and He knew the cost. The plans were already in motion. Abraham would come to understand the depth and cost of God’s love in the painful ascent up the mountain in order to offer up his most precious possession. What would have been your answer to God that day? Would you have made that trek willingly, to the place where you knew you would lose your only child? Abraham trusted God beyond his emotions, above any cost, beyond the present and into the future. Obedience will always be a struggle, on any level, if we do not trust the One who is calling us to it.

It was not Isaac that God desired to have freely and wholly…it was Abraham. When we are willing to give to God our most precious possessions, then God knows He has our heart. God wants our affections, our allegiances, our trust, our hope and above all our love! He doesn’t want the leftovers; He wants the first servings. We are His burnt offering, dear one, freely laying our very heart upon His altar that He may have all of us. And when we are found there, laid freely, without reservation upon His altar, we see His love as never before. Burnt offerings are rare because they are costly but oh the beauty that is revealed in the fire of their giving.

Bring forth your glory in the fire oh Lord.

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