In reading Genesis 22, I quickly learn that Abraham's faith eventually increased exponentially. More specifically, God told Abraham to take his son to land of Moriah where he was instructed to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Isaac was a miracle child. Sarah, Abraham's wife, was well beyond the age when she should have been able to have a child and Abraham was 100 years old. God had promised them both a son; however, they both began to think they needed to help God out. This is when they took matters into their own hands by having Abraham sleep with Sarah's servant girl. This union gave Abraham his first son Ishmael. If you read this story further, you will see how deviating from God's plan leads to a lot of heartache. Again, this was an example of Abraham not trusting God.
Ok, let us get back to our story. God had just told Abraham to sacrifice his son. After receiving this request, he obediently goes to Moriah, builds and alter, and prepares to stab his son. Just before lowering the knife, an angel says, “Abraham! Abraham! Don't kill your son or hurt him in any way. Now I can see that you trust God and that you have not kept your son, your only son, from me”.
There are several things about this story that amazes me. First, Abraham must have had a very strong relationship with God to hear the request and not doubt it was God speaking. If God told me to sacrifice my son, I'd automatically think it was Satan talking. I wonder how Abraham knew it was God? Second, why did Isaac obediently let his father tie him on the alter to be sacrificed? I'd argue that today's kids would never willingly agree to a command like this. I know I wouldn't have. Third, why didn't Abraham negotiate with God like he did in an effort to save Sodom ?
It seems the Bible is a little short on details. Nevertheless, the main takeaway for all of us is that we must trust God and be willing to give up everything for Him. Abraham passed the test and was blessed as a result. God used this story to tell everyone that he wants to be number one. God didn't need Abraham to go through this exercise to know if Abraham would be willing – God knows everything. God needed Abraham to go through with this request so that we could all study it and better understand how to please Him.