"Abraham answered, 'God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.' And the two of them went on together." NIV translation
Abraham's answer demonstrated his great faith but it must have puzzled Isaac. They must have had a wonderful family relationship as Isaac accepted the answer and they traveled on together. This reminds us of the importance of our children seeing our faith in action as they grow to be adults.
"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." NIV translation
Here, we see that Isaac must have had a large measure of faith as well.
Abraham was an old man while Isaac was a strong young man. Yet, he let his father get him down and tie him up for the sacrifice. This is a picture of the fact that Jesus went willingly to the cross. He could have called down a great army of angels to free Him and yet he did not.
This measure of faith and trust in his father did not just happen; it must have been cultivated and nourished over the years. We must remember that a living faith is passed on. If we are not passing it on (telling people about Jesus' work in our lives), we must question whether that faith even exists.
"Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, 'Abraham! Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied." NIV translation
Only God's intervention saved the life of Isaac as Abraham was determined to follow God's instructions. The same is true for us in that Jesus was the only possible way that we could be saved from sin and death. There are many today who do not want to boldly stand up and declare that Jesus is the Way and that has led to a larger and larger number of faithless young people. We cannot blame the young people for following the example that they have seen in their lives. If we want to have faithful children such as Isaac, it must be demonstrated in the lives of the adults around them and that begins in the home.
"'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.'" NIV translation
Why did God stop Abraham from sacrificing Isaac? God knew from the beginning that Isaac was not going to have to die but Abraham did not. This simple test of faith (which God knew that Abraham would pass) was meant to help Abraham to understand more about God. We see, here, that Abraham feared God but it does not mean that he was afraid of being punished. As we saw on his trip to the mountain, he knew that God could and would restore Isaac if it was required. According to Jewish tradition, this is the third level of yirat (fear) and is a profound understanding of the presence and person of God.