Lois Pelchen - Biddeston, Queensland, Australia - 2017

We have already heard a little in these meetings from Genesis 22 when God asked Abraham to offer up his son as a sacrifice and I have been thinking about that for a few days also. “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” God spoke to Abraham and he got two of his servants and Isaac and some fire and headed towards the mountain and they arrived at the place and what I have really been thinking about is Isaac. We usually speak about Abraham and his willingness, willingness to go and being willing to submit to God and God’s plan. Isaac was not just a little child and we do not know what age Isaac would have been and may have been in his late teens or early 20s. He was probably stronger than his father, and his father was not a young man and he could have resisted, but he didn’t.

 

We read in Verse 9, “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.” He bound Isaac his son. They had travelled and gone with fire and that speaks to us of the divine love of God that can consume the offering and consume the sacrifice that is upon the altar, upon the altar of the will of God. Isaac was willing to be bound and if he was so willing. There is a human nature within us also, there is a self that is within us and the self would tell us rise up, rise up and get out of this place and take your eyes off the altar. The human nature within does not want to be bound and doesn’t want to be consumed on the altar of God. I wonder what was in Isaac’s heart that enabled him to submit to what God asked of his life.

 

Isaac grew up in a home where there was a Godly atmosphere, where God was spoken about and we read in the Bible that Abraham was God’s friend and we want God to be our friend. But can God say of us that we are His friend? Abraham was God’s friend and the Spirit was in their home. Isaac would have known about God and Jesus creating this earth would have known about Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel and of God accepting Abel’s offering and not Cain’s. He would have known about Enoch walking with God and God just taking him He would have known about Noah and God telling Noah about the future and the destruction was coming. Telling Noah what to do and how to do it so that he and his family might be saved. Isaac would have grown up knowing of these things, and he would have grown up with a great reverence and respect for God and the trust knowing what he had seen in his own parents. He would have known how God had called his own father and to leave his own country behind and he would have known all the experiences about his father and mother and how God kept true to his promises that he knew he could trust God. Because all he knew the Spirit was working in Isaac’s own life and within his heart, he had the Spirit of God and the spirit of submission, the spirit of obedience, the spirit of humility and it was a spirit of obedience with the spirit of submission.

 

Sometimes we are obedient but without the spirit of submission, we cannot obey. Isaac had within him the spirit of submission and he was willing to obey and put his life into his father’s hand and willing to do whatever God asked him to do. He was bound with cords, cords of respect, cords of trust, and obedience and all those different cords he was bound with to the altar. No doubt there would have been a struggle within his heart first and he also had a human nature and the struggle within himself and the human nature within him struggling against the Divine nature and we all know the same struggle. The human must be put to death and the human must be put down. It is a wonderful thing when the divine prevails.

 

Abraham knew that one day God would send His Son to be the Sacrificed Lamb. Jesus said, "Abraham saw My day and rejoiced to see it." When Abraham saw that, he would have spoken to Isaac about it. It also made me think of Jesus and the supreme sacrifice and we know what happened with Isaac and the Lord called unto Abraham, "Lay not thy hand upon the lad for now I know thou fearest God." He had more than fear in his heart for God and he also had love for God in his heart and that is what helped him to be obedient.

 

I was thinking of Jesus had His life on the altar of the will of God. We speak about Jesus being nailed to the cross, like being bound to the altar. Jesus was nailed to the cross, like being bound to the altar. It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus on the cross, but it was love for His Father and love for our souls that kept Him on the cross. I was reading in Luke and of the human struggle that Jesus had within Himself within the Garden of Gethsemane and struggling and praying, “If Thou be willing, remove this cup, but nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done.”  The first part of this verse is human within us of wanting to be released and not go ahead. In Matthew’s gospel, it says that Jesus prayed this three times and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground and showing how intense the struggle was within Jesus' heart. The divine within Him and the human within Him and the divine prevailed.

 

Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service…” It is the sacrifice that God asks of us and it is not a dead thing and He wants our whole body and our whole life and everything that is within us and our will and our everything and it is a living sacrifice and that is why it needs to be bound to the altar and bound with cords of love and the cords of gratitude. We think of Jesus and of God and all that has been done for us and it surely helps us to want to be bound, to be bound to the altar of God’s will until the end of our little lifespan.

 

I was reading in Revelation of those bound to the altar and God gave John a vision into heaven and he saw under the altar and those that was slain Chapter 6-9 John saw some wonderful things. And when He had opened the first seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held and they cried with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?' And white robes were given unto every one of them…  They were crying, "How long, Lord?" They were told to rest a little while yet. Just wait a little bit longer for the fulfilment of all things.

 

I love to think of those willing to be bound to the altar of God’s will, and when life day is over and the fullness of all that God has promised can enter into that. I can’t help but think of the greatness God has bought us into now and during His lifetime and the wonder of our fellowship and the wonder of having our past sins forgiven and the wonder of knowing all that we know and we know nothing like 1% of all there is yet to know in the future and plan of God in eternity. We are only getting a little taste of it and how much greater it will be in eternity that God has planned for His people, and if we are only willing to keep our lives bound to the altar of God will. May have it be so for His Sake.