“…for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (Gen. 22:12)
God knows you truly love and fear Him when you’re willing to relinquish your children to Him. The bond between parents and their children is unique. (I’m not speaking of dysfunctional families, you understand.) A man and woman fall in love, pledge themselves to each other, and then become “bone of bone and flesh of flesh.” But in the filial relationship, the physical bond is there before the emotional attachment has fully bloomed. But once that attachment is there, neither can be denied.
Why didn’t God ask Abraham to offer his wife, Sarah, on the altar of sacrifice? We can only speculate, but I would suggest Sarah was his present, but Isaac represented his future. Everything that God had promised him was all wrapped up in that boy. And to a great extent, it’s easy to see our own children in the same way. It’s possible for them to accomplish things that are important to us, long after we become incapable of them. We can become like Jacob, whose life was all “bound up” in his son, Jacob’s, life (Gen. 44:30). But you and I are of little use to God unless our lives are bound up in His. And when we reach the point in our Christian lives when we are willing to offer our children to Him to do with as He sees fit, then…then he knows we love Him.
But wait…if that’s true of us, is it not true of God? Can I not say to the Father, “I know that you love me, because you did not withhold your Son, your only begotten Son, from me”? The Beloved Son was relinquished into the hands of wicked men to make it possible for you and me to share in that great love. Oh, dear friend, we could never match such love and sacrifice, but one thing is for sure: God knows you truly love and fear Him when you’re willing to relinquish your children to Him. And I would remind you…and me…that father and son walked up Mt. Moriah; and father and son came back down.