It is certainly a bizarre story. If it took place today, Abraham would have been arrested for attempted murder, or locked in a psych ward. Abraham heard the voice of God. And God asked Abraham to do the most difficult thing, something that shouldn’t be even considered. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac on a distant mountain. Now Abraham had known God a long time, and Abraham knew this wasn’t his own crazy thoughts – so Abraham did what God asked. I don’t think God really wanted Abraham to go through with it, but God was testing Abraham to see where Abraham’s priorities were. Was God first in Abraham’s life or was the treasured son first? As you know (Gen. 22), Abraham passed the test. Abraham began the ritual sacrifice but was stopped as God could see that Abraham intended to obey. A sacrifice was made, but instead of being the son, Abraham sacrificed the ram that God provided for him. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:14)
I often marvel at the picture that Abraham was painting. I don’t know if I would have been able to do what Abraham did. But then it really isn’t up to me to do it either. The ultimate lesson was that God was the One Who Provides. We don’t sacrifice ourselves or our sons because God offered us His Son. He paid our debt. Why would God do such a thing? Because of love. Amazing love.