The Road to Moriah
Genesis 19:34 - Genesis 24:33
As I find myself imagining the journey that took place on the road to Moriah, I ponder the thoughts that must have filled Abraham's heavy heart.
"Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest..." (Genesis 22:2)
I imagine the sun, rising early that morning. The gathering of the wood. The planning for the journey ahead.
I think of the three day journey, and the thoughts that must have filled Abraham's heart every time he lifted his eyes to see the place afar off. I imagine the last stretch of that journey, as Abraham climbed the mountain with his son ––his only son, whom he loved.
And when he came to the place which God had told him of, I picture him building the altar somberly with his own hands. I imagine him carefully laying out the wood, each piece in order. It is beyond my capacity to understand what he must have felt as he gently bound his trusting, obedient son and then laid him on the altar upon the wood.
In that moment when Abraham stretched forth his hand, in that very moment, an angel called unto him.
In the very moment when it became clear that Abraham would not withhold anything from the Lord.
When asked why God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, President Hugh B Brown suggested it was because "Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham." (in Truman G. Madsen, The Highest in Us, 49).
And I wonder, what is it I need to learn about myself?
And what am I willing to give to the Lord to learn that lesson?
What am I willing to sacrifice?
After reading about Abraham I realize that I must become more willing to take the journey, to climb the mountain, to withhold nothing...
Even when I don't know what the end of the path will bring.
"Each time I walk with Abraham and Isaac on the road to Mount Moriah I weep, knowing that Abraham does not know that there will be an angel and a ram in the thicket at the end of the journey. We are each in the middle of our earthly path, and we don't know the end of our own stories. But we, as Abraham, are blessed with miracles." Susan W. Tanner (My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord, April 2008.)
The road to Moriah is a road filled with devotion, with sacrifice, with sanctification.
But we must remember, it is also a road filled with miracles.
A favorite hymn reminds me, "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven..." (Hymn 27) and I am reminded of Abraham, and my heart knows the truth of that phrase.
As Abraham and Isaac prepared to leave Mount Moriah the angel called unto Abraham a second time saying, "because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; ...because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Genesis 22:18-19)
In the Mount Moriah moments of our lives, in the moments when we choose to withhold nothing from the Lord, in the moments of greatest sacrifice, perhaps we could try to remember that in His own way, and in His own time the Lord will provide the angel and the ram in the thicket.
When all is said and done, He will withhold nothing from us.
In blessing He will bless us.
May our eyes be open to recognize those blessings.