This chapter records one of the most remarkable stories in the Bible—the obedience of Abraham to lay Isaac down as a sacrificial offering. God commanded Abraham to take his son and travel to Moriah and offer him there on a designated mountain. It was a test of Abraham’s faith and served as an Old Testament foreshadow of the cross of Jesus. Because of the obedience of his faith, Warren Wiersbe says that Abraham experienced several blessings from the Lord:
First, he received a new commendation from God. God called out to him just as he was about to plunge the knife into his son and said, “Now I know that you fear God.” It was something that God knew all along, but the test was for Abraham’s sake. He had obeyed God’s will and sought to please God’s heart.
Second, he received a new son. God gave Isaac to Abraham, and Abraham gave Isaac back to God. He believed the promise of God, and he knew that God could raise Isaac from the dead if that was His plan. Because God was more important to Abraham than His gifts, he was willing to lay the gift down when God asked for it.
Third, he learned a new name for God. Abraham named the place ‘Jehovah Jireh’ which means the Lord will provide. He believed that God would provide for Himself a lamb, and at that very spot some 2,000 years later Christ would die for the sins of the world.
Faith is always obedient, and disobedience is unbelief manifesting itself in our lives. God never wastes our suffering, but always uses it to teach us something about Himself as well as stretch our faith. Every experience that God allows into our lives comes with the possibility of giving glory to God.