I want us to remember what was told in the last study of this chapter; that Isaac could have been as much as 37 years of age. He asked Abraham, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (v. 7). It is a legitimate question.
Abraham and Isaac have made the journey to the top of Moriah alone, father and son together. The sacrifice was only something the two could do alone. The following is what takes place on the mount;
“And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” Genesis 22:9-10 (KJV)
This place was a place which would be in years to come the place the temple was built (2 Chronicles 3:1), and near the place another sacrifice was to take place hundreds of years later, ie., the sacrifice of Jesus the Son of God. It was the place of God’s direction, the place of God’s design, the place of meeting the One and only living God.
When they reached to top Abraham began gathering stones and built an altar; a place to lay the wood for the fire and the sacrifice. Abraham is set on obedience to God Everlasting (21:33) for he is fully trusting that God will not go back or against His covenant with him.
Something that is overlooked is the trust and obedience of Isaac. A young man, no more than 37 years of age, could very easily overthrow an old man of about 137 years (that would be about the age of Abraham at the time of Sarah’s death) if he were not a trusting and obedient son. Seeing his father lay the “wood in order” on that altar, and then his father taking the ropes to bind the sacrifice; taking Isaacs hands, his feet, then laying him on that altar; there was most certainly tears in both sets of eyes.
This reminds me of the statement of the writer of Hebrews, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him…” (Hebrews 5:8-9). These verses speaking of course, of the Lord Jesus Christ who went with His Father to Mount Calvary, and gave His life as a ransom for the sins of the whole world.
-Tim A. Blankenship