Abraham had no plan. He had no idea how he would actually accomplish what God had asked, neither did he want to think about it. Not that any amount of thinking could prepare him for what he was about to do.
He simply put one foot in front of the other, the way he had come from Ur, and then Terah, to this place. He moved about quietly in the hush of dawn, an old man in the shadows saddling his donkey and splitting the wood for the sacrifice of his only son.
Abraham was not a stranger to the sacrificial altar, the slaughter of animals, their blood poured out before God and consumed by fire. He could not forget the cries of the men, women, and even children as they were sacrificed to the gods of Ur. But never had the Lord required the sacrifice of a man, and never would he have imagined that God would require the life of his son. Why had God strung them along for so many years waiting for the heir, only to kill him now?
He did not tell Sarah what he was about to do. What would he say? She would have questions, and he had no answers. Nothing that sounded remotely reasonable. He did not need a scene, but mostly he did not want to hear his own doubts and fears echoed in her voice. He was afraid of the power they might have once spoken aloud.
Besides, who knew? Perhaps he would return with Isaac and no one would be the wiser. Even this hope he could not explain. Not even to himself.
At the last minute he roused two of his young men to accompany them. He was an old man and Isaac was in his prime. He might need their help. He flinched at the thought.
The sky lit up just as Abraham disappeared over the horizon with Isaac and the two young men. The journey took three days. With every step, Abraham cried out to his God, wordless sounds no one else could hear and not even he could understand. He knew God heard. Why didn’t he answer?
In the shadow of the mountain, Abraham turned to the two young men, “You stay here with the donkey. My son and I will go up and return to you shortly.” His voice sounded more confident than he felt.
WHAT CAME BEFORE
Into the Darkness | The Sacrifice of Isaac: Part 1
WHAT CAME AFTER
The Empty Altar | The Sacrifice of Isaac: Part 3
Though I try to remain faithful to the events and characters as described in the Bible, I take some liberties where the Bible is silent, especially regarding what the characters might have thought or felt. I encourage you to read the original story: Genesis 22