Isaac's father Abraham, took Isaac ( an only child) and some friends on a long walk as God wanted Abraham to offer a sacrifice in a certain place. Unfortunately, there was no animal to sacrifice but that didn't deter Abraham. "When we return" was his comment to his friends as he and Isaac set off to the place of sacrifice. God had told Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and although Abraham obeyed God, Abraham knew that (a) Isaac was to be the recipient of God's promise of a great nation so therefore could not die prematurely, but (b) if Abraham did in fact sacrifice Isaac - child sacrifice was abhorrent to God - Isaac must come alive again.
Back to Isaac. Imagine a young boy lying on a pile of rocks ( altar) with his father holding a knife above him, ready to kill him. Just at the last moment, a lamb could be heard, caught in a bush, so Isaac was freed and the lamb was used as the sacrifice. Abraham's faith in God is another story!!!!!! but how traumatised was Isaac? We are not told but just imagine if Isaac were alive today to tell his story! Isaac could either be the victim of an horrendous situation ( it must have been frightening), or use the ordeal to demonstrate how strong Abraham's faith was in God and how God could be trusted.
I don't know how Isaac reacted to this episode in his childhood, but I am disappointed in his lack of trust in God as he matured. He and Rebekah had been married for 20 years before they had any children and when they did, God had made it quite clear that Jacob, the younger twin, would be the recipient of God's special blessing, yet Isaac did not appear to take this seriously. Isaac favoured Esau, the eldest son, while Rebekah favoured Jacob, and what a mixed up family situation that ended up to be. Complicated is an understatement, yet through the entire story, God was in control, fulfilling his promises.
"Life wasn't meant to be easy" is a quote from a previous Australian Prime Minister, but taken in the context of our story today, it is true. However, God has promised us that "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God......"
( Romans 8:28) so if our trust is in God, then we are not the victims of difficult situations, but the victors, even when life does not turn out the way we would have preferred.
The choice is ours - victim or victor!