15 The angel of the Lord called out to Abraham from heaven a second time. 16 He said, “I am giving you my word that I will bless you. I will bless you because of what you have done,” announces the Lord. “You have not held back your son, your only son. 17 So I will certainly bless you. I will make the children born into your family as many as the stars in the sky. I will make them as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. They will take over the cities of their enemies. 18 All nations on earth will be blessed because of your children. All these things will happen because you have obeyed me.” 19 Then Abraham returned to his servants. They started out together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba. 20 Some time later Abraham was told, “Milkah has become a mother. She has had sons by your brother Nahor. 21 Uz was born first. Then came his brother Buz. Kemuel was born next. He became the father of Aram. 22 Milkah’s other sons are Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milkah had the eight sons by Abraham’s brother Nahor. 24 Nahor had a concubine named Reumah. She also had sons. They were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maakah.
The whole recount, captured in Genesis 22, of Abraham’s testing is an amazing depiction of the faith that Abraham had in God. Yet as I read through this passage towards the end of the chapter, I look to verse 18. God speaks incredible blessings over Abraham and his descendants, and then in verse 18 He declares that this blessing is all because Abraham has obeyed God.
Once again I am reminded of the significance of obedience to God. It is easy as a Christian to get caught up in trying to gain knowledge – about God, about the Bible, about Christianity – all of which are good and important things to have knowledge of! However we must, like Abraham courageously did, move to the place of obedience once we know what it is that God asks of us. It is this that pleases God, that we are transformed by the knowledge we have of Him, and are willing to obey His commands.
Lord, give us the strength and courage to not just hear your Word and understand your commands, but to obey them. May we have hearts that are surrendered to and obedient to your will. Amen.
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko