Those who are obedient to God’s direction, in spite of suffering and uncertainty, experience God’s victory and provision..
God gave Abraham a very odd directive; actually, it was a command. He told Abraham to take his son, his only son, to a place He would reveal to him, and sacrifice him on an altar.
Abraham was to take his teenage son Isaac on a three day journey to Mount Moriah, climb to a particular point, build an altar with wood they carried with them, and then sacrifice his son, Isaac.
You can find all this in Genesis chapter 22.
I realize this sounds very morbid and completely out of character for God, but it actually was a move that saved the human race.
Abraham, God’s covenant partner, was asked to give his only son, his promised son, to God.
This then allowed God to make it possible for mankind to have access to His only Son, Jesus.
It’s the way of covenants.
As Abraham raised the knife in obedience to God, God intervened.
“And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.“ Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.” (Genesis 22:12 – 22:13 NKJV)
God provided the sacrifice then, as well as a few thousand years later.
Jesus became the needed sacrifice for mankind’s sin. He became our “ram in the thicket.”
Abraham learned obedience through the things he suffered. How did he suffer? As he believed and obeyed God, he suffered in his flesh because he was going against what his natural reasoning was telling him.
Jesus, not only in the wilderness but also in the Garden of Gethsemane, suffered in the flesh while obeying His Father’s will for His life (the cross and subsequent resurrection).
Faith, which many times requires obedience, will often have a degree of suffering with it. And without the obedience, the miraculous power and faithfulness of God is never witnessed.
You see, God always has an answer for those who believe and obey. But it’s the obedient that eat “the best of the land.”
And it’s during the suffering period, the period when it looks as though our faith isn’t going to be rewarded, that we sometimes feel like God’s requirements are too great, and we give up and go with our plan B.
Remember, God doesn’t tell us His whole plan. He leads us a step at a time.
Which is how we’re to obey.
A step at a time.
Do you keep looking for the “ram caught in the thicket”? You could be missing out on God’s answer. Don’t look at the thicket. That’s not where your help comes from. Stay with what He has said, and what He is saying, and leave the rest to Him.
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;” (Isaiah 1:19 NKJV)
“Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8 NKJV)