“Remember your Leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:7-8 [NIV]
The word “Consider” is used on several occasions in scripture. According to the Complete Christian Dictionary for Home and School, it means “to think about; to think about others or something in a stated way; to take into account and or remember.” [pg. 132] It therefore means to call one’s attention in a deeper way to something that is crucial and relevant in order to enable him or her take responsible action on the matter. In Hebrews chapter 12 verse 3, we are called to “consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” King Jehoshaphat of Judah prayerfully told his newly appointed Judges to “consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict” 2 Chron. 19:6. Elihu, Job’s friend, called him in the midst of his challenges, to “stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?” Job 37: 14-15. King Solomon asks lazy people to “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord calls us to “consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds?” Luke 12:24
Let us therefore prayerfully consider Isaac and his walk of faith with God as revealed in Genesis 22:1-12. A cursory look at the passage clearly shows the inspiring faith of his father Abraham, but a deeper look reveals that his faith would not have manifested in any way without the faith of the ‘sacrifice’ Isaac. In verse 2, God clearly describes Isaac as “your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” The phrase “whom you love” shows Abraham’s deep and special love for his son of promise, Isaac, which Isaac was aware of. Remember that children easily discern the love of their parents, in spite of their age. Yet, Isaac, by faith, willingly offered this love on God’s altar. Again, by faith, young Isaac travelled with his father for three whole days to worship God, without a visible animal for sacrifice. Also, after three long days of travelling, Isaac by faith, endured their challenging separation from his father’s servants [who would have likely served as the ‘sacrifice’] and continued with his father on the journey. Even when he made bold to ask about the animal for the sacrifice, he was satisfied, by faith with the answer from his Dad, “God himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” This is confirmed by the fact that “two of them [still] went on together”, after this faith reply. Finally, alone with his father at the place and time of sacrifice, young and energetic Isaac, yielded himself [and all that lay in him and ahead of him] to the father as the sacrifice, accepting to be the burnt offering, by faith!
Beloved, the ball is now in our court. Let us all continue to prayerfully consider and imitate the faith of Isaac in these perilous times of selfishness, avarice, covetousness, carnality, disobedience, godlessness, sexual perversions, pleasure-seeking and power -drunkenness! Our faith in God must be reflected in all our thoughts, words and actions, bringing all glory, honour and power to God, who, it is impossible to please without faith. Heb. 11:6.