And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5)
Three days before, Abraham had been told by God to take his son to the land of Moriah and offer him up as a burnt offering. He obeyed. The journey was complete. He stood at the foot of the mountain prescribed by the Lord for the offering. Speaking to the young men he had brought with him, this great man of God made a powerful statement defining worship. He knew what he came to do; Isaac did not. The father was prepared to kill his son and burn his body as an offering because of his faith in the word of God. The time had come. Leaving the two young men Abraham took Isaac and offered him as directed by God. However the Angel of Lord stayed his hand providing a ram as the sacrifice instead of Isaac.
Worship is not merely an act of opening the mouth to utter words in a song. It is not simply the bowed knee in prayer nor the reverence to the preaching of God’s word. Defining worship is not the eating of some bread or drinking some juice because we are commanded. Abraham declares that worship is a fully devoted heart to everything the Lord has given and asks of us to do for Him by faith. As a father it is hard to imagine what it must have been like those three days leading up to the arrival at the mountain. The journey up the mountain was torn by the questions of Isaac as to the sacrifice to be offered. Worship for Abraham is summed up by, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
Our worship today is how God has provided for Himself the Lamb as an offering for our sins and our test of devotion to show how far we are willing to give our lives for Him. Worship is thanksgiving for the gift. Worship is sorrow for the price paid. Worship is the acknowledgement of God’s mercy and God’s grace to save a sinner like me. Let us sing with greater fervency today of our faith in God. May the prayers lifted today in worship be a cry of need for the love of God. As the memorial of Jesus Christ encircles our hearts may we sorrow at His sacrifice and yet rejoice at His coming. The fellowship we share with our brethren should be our worship of a common faith in the gift of God.
We are not being asked to offer our sons. God gave us His. Worship today as Abraham viewed the sacrifice of his only son. “We will come back to you.” Worship is believing in the resurrection. No matter what we are asked to do God has done greater.
Faith doesn’t wait until it understands; in that case it wouldn’t be faith. (Vance Havner)