God above all other gods

I have always been disturbed by the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar (Genesis 22). As a child, this story made no sense to me at all;I always wondered if God would ask me to do a sinful thing to prove my love to Him and how do you say no to God and how were you to know if it really was God asking and not satan? As I got older I learned and understood that this story represented what God actually did for us, in sacrificing His own Son on our behalf. Frankly, though, this story still didn't sit well in my mind, especially as a mother. It always bothered me. What was Sarah thinking at home? If that was my husband, and that was his god, I wouldn't want anything to do with that god. I finally had to get to the point where I'd just focus on what it represented and tried not to go there with all my other thoughts and questions.

Well, I love God and He tends to get through to my thick brain, more often than not lately (thank you). During my Breaking Free study Thursday night, we were studying the kings of Israel and some of these kings did some pretty horrific things, including sacrificing their children on altars. One of the women in my group made a comment, "Well that was pretty common in those times, it wasn't an unusual practice." She kind of sluffed it off as no big deal. But it bothered me. "What do you mean, it wasn't a big deal?"

Three days later, ding, dong I finally answered the door!

Back in Abraham's time, guess what the other "gods" were asking of their followers? They were asking for child sacrifice. Unfortunately, in that culture and time that is exactly what was common, culturally accepted practice. Abraham was before there was a Bible, and God had called Him to leave His people and go to a new land. Abraham may have been the only person on earth at that time God was intentionally revealing Himself too. And do you know what God did? He asked Abraham to do exactly what the other "gods" were asking, "to sacrifice your child to prove your love to me." However, when Abraham got to that point, God stepped in and He DIFFERENTIATED Himself from ALL other gods!

Psalm 95:3

For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.

He stepped in and He showed Himself as Jehovah Jireh, a Provider. Unlike the other gods, He does not require His people to murder their children, to satisfy Him. He is not like all other gods, He is above ALL gods and in fact He will provide the way to prove His love for us. This was the missing link for me, the step that I needed to have to understand and appreciate this whole story. Before, I thought Sarah would have had a grudge against Abraham her whole life, but now I think when Abraham got home, Sarah was very excited and she did want to know more about this God who was different than all other gods and would provide a better way than the sacrifice of their child.

And God continues to differentiate Himself from all other gods. He is the only God, who loves us so much that He would give up everything, suffer, die and rise again with joy to have us as His inheritance.

Do you know who He is? Do you know who you are in Him?


  1. That story is actually one of my favorite and special to my heart. I think that what you wrote is just the cusp of what can be taken from that verse. Its like an onion full of layers, revealed one by one to each of us, at His time. Now that you have gotten over the idea of sacrificing a child, more will be revealed. That was just the tip of the iceberg =) Its amazing, He's amazing! He knew, God knew, that Abraham's son would not be sacrificed but Abraham didn't. Yet Abraham still had enough faith to follow, NO MATTER WHAT! That is what God wants us to do with Him, follow no matter what. He will not, can not, make us sin because then how could He be God?

  2. That story has never sit well with me either, now I get it!! Thanks!

  3. I read something in "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer about the story of Abraham that I thought was interesting (I had never read the Abraham Isaac story this way) I remembered your post and thought I would share it with you... you can take it or leave it. :~)

    Tozer points out that Abraham had placed Isaac on a throne (in his heart) and Isaac represented to him all the good things and promises from God.
    It was at this point that God stepped in to "save both father and son from the consequences of an uncleansed love."
    After Abraham fully surrendered Isaac on the mountain, "Now he was a man wholly surrendered, a man utterly obedient, a man who possess nothing. He had concentrated his all in the person of his dear son, and God had taken it from him. God could have begun out on the margin of Abraham's life and worked inward to the center; He chose rather to cut quickly to the hear and have it over in one sharp act of separation... It hurt cruelly, but it was effective."
    "After that bitter and blessed experience I think the words 'my' and 'mine' never had again the same meaning for Abraham."

  4. Thank you Amber for your comment. I have heard what Tozer had to say before. For me personally, it didn't provide a satisfying answer to the whole story. While it is very likely that Isaac had become like an idol to Abraham I still believe there is much more going on. After writing my post, Correna e-mailed and said, "DId you read page 99 of He Loves Me?" I hadn't read it yet, so I went ahead and did. It was good to hear what I had essentially said from someone else. If you are interested here it is:
    If you go to Tel megiddo in Israel today you can stand on an overlook and view an altar used to sacrifice firstborn malechildren to the gods of the Canaanites. Your guide will tell you that very altar was in use when Abraham entered the Promised Land. People thought they could appease their false gods with such sacrifices.
    Thus it was not so incredible to Abraham when the God who had touched his life asked him to sacrifice his son. Alll the other gods in Canaan did it why not his? But this God was not a false god like the others deemed interested in human sacrifice. This was the true God. He was going to reveal himself to Abraham and wanted him to know this God had nothing in common with Molech, Baal or Asherah.
    At God's instruction, Abraham took his son and set out for Mt Moriah. As they got close to the mountain, Isaac aked where their sacrfice was.
    It appears Abraham's response was less a brilliant insight into God's nature than a defection to stave off the curiosity of his son. He nonetheless spoke prophetically the lesson God wanted to show him "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering , my son."
    Abraham faced the ultimate test in his growing trust in God. Even though he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, he discovered God really didn't want or need thesacrifice. After God pointed out to Abraham te ram Abraham named the place, "The Lord will Provide" understanding his earlier words had proved more tru than he could have imagined.
    In this one act God drew a line that separated hm from all the false gods men had ever created. The false gods demanded sacrifices for their own appeasement. This God provided the sacifec we needed to finally cover our shame and allow us to know him as he really is.
    At Mt Moriah God foreshadowed to Abraham what he would litterally accomplish some three thousand years later on another hill not far away, Golgatha. It would not be the act of appeasement to an angry God by any sacrifice we could give, but an act of a loving God to sacrifice himself for those who were held captive in sin.
    Far from being a bloodthirsty sovereign demanding sacrifce to satiate his need for vengeance, the living God spent himself to bring back the banished son or daughter. He did not need a sacrifice to love us for he already did love us.


Daily Prayer

Disqus for For His Glory Alone


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...