Lesson 18: What Happened On Mount Moriah?

Mount Moriah sits on what is perhaps the most valuable piece of real estate in the world. If it were for sale, I’m sure the price would be higher than anyone could pay. On some maps, it is marked as the center of the world, out of which everything else emanates. And in some ways, that’s probably true. For it was here on Mount Moriah that some of the most important events of history took place—and will take place again in the future. To find out what happened here, take a look at the short video below. Then read on to see how what happened here can make a difference in what can happen in your life as well.

So what happened on Mount Moriah? This is where Abraham was going to sacrifice his son Isaac.

It’s one of the first stories recorded in the Bible where someone expressed their great faith in God, even in the face of great obstacles.

God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore and as the stars in the sky. But there was one problem. Abraham didn’t have any children. Not even one. And he and his wife believed that all hope was gone. At least until God spoke to them.

But how could God fulfill a promise like this? Yet Abraham believed Him, and God began to deliver on His promise by giving Abraham and Sarah a son from their own bodies.

But then, the tide seemed to turn. After believing God, and seeing the fulfillment of His promise begin, it seemed like God was about to go back on his promise. God told Abraham:

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Genesis 22:2).

It must have seemed ridiculous. If Abraham did what God said, not only was Abraham’s son going to be dead, but so was God’s promise. But if Abraham felt any of that, the Bible doesn’t record it. It simply says that early the next morning, Abraham saddled his donkey, cut some wood to make the offering, took two servants and his son Isaac, and set off for the place God had told him to go.

As he reached the spot, he built an altar, bound his son and put him on it. He took the knife in his hand, and just as he was about to slay his son, an angel of the Lord called out:

“Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:11b-18).

Abraham had proved himself faithful. And so did God. When all hope seemed to be gone, Abraham still believed God could fulfill His promise, somehow, someway, sometime. And because of Abraham’s faith, and God’s faithfulness, Abraham’s descendants are now counted in the millions, including those living today, and those who have lived over the past 4,000 years since this dramatic event on Mount Moriah.

The Dome of the Rock now stands on Mount Moriah over the massive rock rock where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac.

It wasn’t the only event that took place there. About a thousand years later, King David bought the threshing floor on Mount Moriah to build an altar and stop a plague that God had sent upon the people. When God saw David’s faith, He proved Himself faithful again by stopping the plague after three days, just as He said He would.

About a thousand years after that, Jesus walked up to the steps of the temple to teach the multitudes, a temple that was built over this very place where Abraham and David had expressed their faith. He, too, eventually expressed his faith here, by willingly being sentenced to death in the chambers of the Antonia Fortress at the base of the Temple Mount, and carrying His cross from there to the hill where He died for all of our sins.

And it was there that Jesus picked up his cross, and carried it to his death, the ultimate sacrifice that stopped the ultimate plague called “sin.”

So you can see how this spot has been the site of many acts of faith, from Abraham 4,000 years ago, to David 3,000 years ago, and to Jesus 2,000 years ago. And you can see why this spot has also become priceless to millions, whether their heritage is Jewish, Muslim or Christian.

One day, the Bible says that a river of life will spring up from this spot.  It will bring life to all that it touches, even the Dead Sea twenty miles away.

While Mount Moriah may not have been a very peaceful spot over the years, it has been a spot where many acts of faith have played out, and where God has proven Himself to be faithful—over and over again, and where He will one day prove Himself to be faithful yet again.

How does this all relate to you?  God loves it when people put their trust in Him, people whose hearts are fully committed to Him, in spite of how things might look around them.

Here’s what the Bible says about Abraham:

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned’” (Hebrews 11:17-18).

Here’s what the Bible says about David:

“I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do” (Acts 13:22).

Here’s what the Bible says about Jesus:

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

And here’s what the Bible says about me and you, as written in Hebrews 11:6:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

God wants you to have faith in Him, even when everything you see might tell you otherwise. God wants you to believe in Him, to trust in Him, to keep putting your faith in Him, no matter what, at all times, in all situations, believing that He exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Keep putting your faith in God, and He’ll prove Himself faithful to you, just like He proved Himself faithful to Abraham, David, and Jesus, right there on Mount Moriah.

Let’s pray:

Father, thank You for showing your faithfulness to those who showed their faithfulness to You. Help us to be faithful to You today as well, believing that You exist, and that You will reward those who earnestly seek You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You're reading ISRAEL: LESSONS FROM THE HOLY LAND, by Eric Elder, featuring thirty inspiring devotionals based on the land where Jesus walked. Also available in paperback and eBook formats in our bookstore for a donation of any size!

You’re reading ISRAEL: LESSONS FROM THE HOLY LAND, by Eric Elder, featuring thirty inspiring devotionals based on the land where Jesus walked. Also available in paperback and eBook formats in our bookstore for a donation of any size!

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