Rosh HaShanah–A Call to Action

Abraham and Isaac on the way to the place of Sacrifice, 1931Illustration: “Abraham and Isaac on the way to the sacrifice,” by Marc Chagall, gouache, oil on paper, 1931.

“But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’  He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me'” (Genesis 22:11-12).


Abraham trusted God. He knew God’s promise. And he obeyed God with his actions. It was not enough to take his son to the top of the mountain. It was not enough to bind him and lay him on the altar. He drew his knife and raised it over his son’s head, preparing to do what God had commanded.  He knew that somehow, even if he must kill his own son, God would be glorified and God’s promise would be fulfilled.

God stayed Abraham’s hand, and provided a substitute, a ram caught by his horns in a thicket.  And the ram’s horn would forever trumpet victory over death.  That is why, at Rosh HaShanah, a ram’s horn is used to call God’s people to the temple to worship.

But the death of the ram is not the final victory.   The ram was only the substitute for Isaac. People were still  slaves to death until God lead his own Son to the mountain, bound and whipped. God laid his Son on the altar, a roughly hewn cross to which He was nailed. There was no substitute for Jesus; He is the substitute for you and me.  His death assures us of life.  Now the trumpet calls for us, and it calls us to action. As we continue our journey struggles and temptations to wander from the path await us.  But we have no fear, for we hear the trumpet and remember God has won victory over death for us.

 Prayer:  Thank you Father for your provision for me. Take the roadblocks from my path and guide me in your way. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:   What action is God calling you to? Consider writing down  your obstacle and placing it in the offering.  Pray that God will strengthen you to truly give to the Lord that obstacle.



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