Genesis 22:15-17, “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee,…”
Psalm 24:3-6, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.”
As Abraham and Isaac rejoiced around the altar where their divinely provided substitutionary sacrifice had been offered, God spoke a second time. The first call was a call of provision. The second was a call of promise; a promise that was extended because of Abraham’s worship.
Genesis 22:16 “… By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:”
Abraham journeyed up Mount Moriah with one objective – worship. For he said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” As this faithful servant of God stretched forth his hand in faith, and took the knife to offer his son in sacrificial, obedient, and fearful worship, the Holy One could not be stayed. A personal call proceeded from the throne of the Almighty – “Abraham, Abraham.” Never had that voice sounded so powerful, yet so loving; and never so welcomed. “Here am I” came the submissive reply of a broken, but expectant servant. “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” What God knew was in Abraham’s heart, had been proven by his worship; a worship that withheld nothing requested. God had revealed Abraham’s heart through a test, now God would reveal his heart to Abraham by a blessing.
“Because thou hast done this thing…” The same unreserved, and selfless worship that secured divine provision, was the same worship that had secured the Lord’s blessings. When we hold onto those things God commands us to give, we effectively close the channel of God’s blessings, with the same grasp that tightly holds onto our selfish desires. To die to self, is to live unto God. (Luke 9:24; 14:26; John 12:25) God blesses selfless worship: and he recognizes and accepts no other. Carnal, self-serving, and superficial worship exposes our hypocrisy; and reveals the lack of value we place on the person, sacrifice, authority, holiness and power of the Almighty. Abraham’s worship was pure, and secured the one thing all of us need to fulfill God’s purpose, and be happy in this life; that is the blessing of the Almighty.
Do you want to fulfill God’s purpose for your life? Do you want to be more effective in your efforts to reach others with the gospel? Do want to know that God’s hand is guiding, providing, and opening doors of opportunity that you could never have opened in your own power? How is your worship? If we desire divine blessings, then we must offer worship worthy of the Divine.
Pastor Brooks Suttle
Royal River Baptist Church