These amenities weren’t available when Abraham and Isaac visited Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. Abraham and his son went to worship, not to be entertained.
The story is familiar. We learned it in VBS a lifetime ago.
God had promised to bless Abraham with a large family and a lasting legacy. Of course, large families start with a first child, missing from Abraham’s household until he was a centenarian and Sarah was ninety.
A few years later, God called Abraham to join Him at Mt. Moriah. By then, Isaac was a young man. How old was he? We don’t know. I think he was thirty-three, the same age that Jesus was when He went to Mt. Moriah, later called Calvary. Maybe?
Anyway, God invited Abraham to take a three-day journey. After arriving at the base of the hill, Abraham left his traveling companions. “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you” (Genesis 22:5, CSB).
Notice, “we’re going to worship.” For Abraham, that meant he was keeping a divine appointment. He was going to meet God. And he was going to give his most precious, his most prized, his very best as a free-will offering.
Isn’t that a possible definition of worship? Worship is entering God’s presence and offering Him our very best.
Both father and son worshipped on the mountain. Abraham gave his son, and Isaac gave himself ... willingly.
“When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son” (Genesis 22:9–10, CSB).
If Isaac was, in fact, thirty-three, then Abraham wouldn’t have been able force Isaac upon the altar. For that matter, if Isaac was big enough to carry the wood up the hill, then he could have easily outrun his elderly dad. Isaac must have willingly climbed up onto the altar. There, he invited his loving father to bind him, and he must have watched as Abraham raised the knife above his head. Isaac worshipped by willingly, freely, offering himself as a sacrificial offering.
Worship doesn’t require all the amenities, but it demands that we present our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1, CSB). That’s worship!
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor