Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)
Obedience is an essential ingredient for prosperity. Abraham had learned to believe in God, however, his greatest challenge was yet to come.
Abraham waited many years for his son to be born and when he finally received his greatest treasure, he was asked to sacrifice him on the altar as a sacrifice to God. Looking back, we read that Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees, an idolatrous and pagan land where the gods demanded sacrifices. Clearly, God was not wanting a human sacrifice because God hates those rituals and finds them abominable (Jeremiah 7:31). However, with this request, God was putting Abraham’s obedience to the test.
In the same way that we are constantly struggling to fight off thoughts in our minds that go against God’s word, Abraham was also battling with his thoughts. Perhaps Abraham thought: “Can this God that got me out of Ur be as cruel as the pagan Gods from my land?” “Why did he make me wait so many years for a son just to take him away from me?”“How will I ever be able to tell Sarah that God asked me to sacrifice our son?” “What if I sacrifice him and God does not raise him from the dead?” In addition to dealing with these agonizing questions in his mind, Abraham had to listen to his son questions: “Father do we have everything we need to perform the sacrifice?” “Where is the lamb that will be sacrificed?”(Genesis 22:7)
God tests our faith, our trust in him, our understanding of who he is, and our love towards him when he asks us to sacrifice in his altar what me we most love and desire. Jesus asked the rich young man to sacrifice his money on the altar but the young man, full of sadness left because although he had kept all the commandments, he loved all of his possessions more than he loved God. The Bible states: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Abraham proved that his greatest treasure was God. He proved that he truly knew the God that had called him out of the land of Ur. He knew and understood the character of God, his faithfulness, his love, his power, and his kindness. He proved that his faith was unshakable. He was sure that even if he would sacrifice his son, God was more than able to raise him from the dead.
Where is your heart? Have you ever asked yourself: “What is my greatest treasure?” On many occasions, the things we love the most can interfere in our relationship with God. Loving God above everything and surrendering to him all that we have, all that we desire, our dreams, our passions, and our possessions is the best way to achieve prosperity. After Abraham obeyed the commandment to sacrifice his son on the altar, all of his blessings arrived. “and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:16-17).
If prosperity has not been evident in your life despite giving your tithes and offerings and if your prayers have not been answered, it is time to consider: “What is my greatest treasure?” “What do I desire most?” Remember that the Bible states: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) Amen!