March 27, 2015
READ: Genesis 22:1-18
Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name thatÂ I will certainly bless you (vv.16-17).
All of us have dreams for our lives—aspirations to do something great or become someone worthwhile. When shaped by the purposes of God, dreams guide us to meaningful living.
Abraham had a dream—two dreams, in fact—and both were God-given. Old and childless in a culture of large families, he dreamed of having a son (Genesis 11:30,15:3). God promised that this dream would come true and added one more. Not only would Abraham have a son, he would have a nation (12:2, 15:5, 17:5). Two big dreams indeed!
And that’s one reason we find Genesis 22 so baffling. Isaac is born—the fulfilment of the first dream and a glimpse of the second (21:1-3)—and Abraham is called to sacrifice him! (22:2). God was asking to have back what He had given. Abraham was to give up both his fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams.
The preparation would have been agonising. Abraham gathered his son, servants and supplies, and walked for days to the sacrifice site where he laid what was most precious to him on the altar (vv.3-9). And just as the knife was poised to plunge, God intervened and gave Abraham back his dreams (vv.11-14). Abraham learned two important lessons that day: the true God is not like the gods around him who revelled in child sacrifice, and nothing—not even a God-given dream—comes before Him.
Have you given your dreams to God—both the fulfilled ones and the unfulfilled? It’s the only way to ensure that our dreams are under His hand, and that they don’t become gods themselves. As He did with Abraham, God may well give your dreams back to you or give them back in a new form.
But whatever He does with your dreams, you can be sure it will come accompanied by a blessing (vv.15-18).
365-day plan: 1 Samuel 17:1-31
Read Proverbs 16:9 to see how God might sift your dream. Read Psalm 105:19 to see what He might be doing while you wait for a dream to be fulfilled.
What dream do you have for your life? Have you offered it back to God?