Cheating on God
God tested Abraham . . . “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering . . .” Genesis 22:1-2
I once spoke with a man who just could not follow God as he clung to something in his life that he felt God would make him surrender. At least he was honest. I would have just tried to follow God while hanging on to the thing.
I have claimed to follow God above all, but my life betrayed that I pursued drugs, money, status and the good life over God. He has allowed me to find misery in those misplaced pursuits so that I may learn that I must have no gods before Him.
This was the heart of God’s test of Abraham in today’s passage, in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. The apparent cruelty of the test revealed how serious of business this was (and is) to God.
God made us to live in right relation to Him. Anything we pursue above Him is, by definition, destructive to that relationship. When we put something above God, we are essentially, cheating on him, pursuing another person or thing over Him.
If Abraham had refused God’s command, then Isaac would have become Abraham’s god. In choosing this, Abraham would have sown the seeds of his own destruction.
Anytime we follow something above God, we put a burden on that thing that it will never be able to bear. Job, money and family, will all eventually crumble under that weight. We cause ourselves countless miseries in our pursuit of anything above God.
God does not say that we cannot enjoy family, job or money. He just insists that those people and things be kept in their appropriate position in our lives. It is only when we obey and follow the one God above all, that we allow everything else to exist in its proper place.