We often become too attached to people, places and possessions because they serve some perceived needs which we think, if attained, would alone complete us somehow. Thus when we are separated from those persons, possessions and places which are close to us, we feel empty, incomplete and devastated. It is human nature to become obsessed with the gifts and blessings that God gives us. At times we become too attached to them to the extent that we fail to remember that the giver, God, is more important than the gifts that He gives us. The thought for our reflection this morning is, “Our God Reminds Us to be Just Stewards and not Owners of What We Possess”.
“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood”.
When we are obsessed with God’s blessings we unconsciously begin to “worship” the gift instead of the giver. Thus what could have been a blessing from God to remind us of His goodness and faithfulness, could unconsciously turn into our idol. But God, the giver, always wants to be central in our lives. In order to ensure that, God takes us through experiences which will force us to detach ourselves from His gifts. That’s what God did to Abraham.
1. God wanted Abraham to sacrifice his “precious son”.
Knowing very well of the unique position that Abraham had given to Isaac in his life, God described Isaac as “your only son” in Genesis 22: 2, 12 and 16. Isaac was Abraham’s precious son because it was only through him that the promises would be fulfilled and he was the only seed through whom the blessing must come (12:1-3; 13:16; 17:19). But Abraham was willing to sacrifice him in obedience to God’s command because he knew that Isaac was God’s gift to him and he did not own Isaac. Is God asking us to let go of a precious gift that he gave us sometime back?
2. God wanted Abraham to sacrifice his “beloved son”.
As Isaac was an answer to Abraham’s prayer and patient waiting for over 25 years, he would have loved him very much. And God, knowing that very well, referred to Isaac as one “whom you love” in Genesis 22:2. Binding his beloved son Isaac and laying him on the altar, on top of the wood to sacrifice would have been an unbearable, painful experience to Abraham. Though painful, Abraham was willing to do it, because, he knew that the real owner of Isaac was God and he was just a steward who was to take care of him until God planned or desired. Are we ready to lay everything that we love at the altar of God, realizing that He owns everything?
Did not Solomon, the wise man say,
“Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry in his hand”
Our life, children, education, wealth, business, properties, talents, gifts and ministries are all God given. Shall we be ready to part with them if God demands them? Stewardship is partnership with God. Shall we surrender all those gifts at the altar of God this morning with the realization that God is their owner and we are just stewards to use them for His glory?
Blessed day and fruitful week ahead!