Devotional Thoughts:

Dig Deeper

In Genesis 21, it tells us that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.  Chapter 22 starts out by saying, “Some time later God tested Abraham...”  and then the familiar story of Abraham being told by God to sacrifice Isaac ensues.

“Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife...When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. ” Gen 22:6 &9

As I read these words, I wonder how old Isaac was at the time of this story.  The Bible does not tell us, but we do have some clues.  He was old enough to go on a three day journey with his father, old enough to climb Mt. Moriah, and he was old enough to carry the wood!  So my guess is that he is about 15-20 years old.  According to Josephus,  the Jewish historian, Isaac was 25 years old at the time of the sacrifice.  This would make Abraham about 115 to 125 years old.  He was fit enough to go on the journey and to climb Mt. Moriah but he could only carry the fire and the knife.


We know from the story that Isaac recognizes the lack of a lamb as he and Abraham are climbing Mt Moriah.  It seems obvious to the reader that Isaac is putting two and two together.  He knows that his father is planning to offer him as a sacrifice, as is sometimes done by the idol worshipping nations that they live among, yet he continues to carry the wood.  He could have run, but he did not.  When they arrive at the place God shows them, they build an altar, put the wood on it and then Isaac allow his father to bind him and lay him on the altar.  Certainly with the age difference and strength difference, Isaac could have overcome his father in a fight, but he does not, he willingly carried the wood and laid on top of it!

Isaac is not the only son to ‘carry the wood’, consider this:  “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.  So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him.” (John 19:16--18a).

He ‘carried the wood’!

Like Isaac, Jesus went willingly.  His willingness is described so well in the refrain of Ray Overholt’s famous song:

        “He could have called ten thousand angels
                                                                                        To destroy the world and set Him free.
                                                                                        He could have called ten thousand angels,
                                                                                        But He died alone, for you and me.”  (Matt. 26:53)

He carried the wood because of His love for you!


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Dave Lyman

  1. He Carried The Wood: