"And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham:
and he said, Here am I.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." - Genesis 22:8-14 KJV
What a profound passage. It pushes the boundaries of our sanity to try and wrap our heads around. Only Jesus and the account of His death brings this into focus otherwise God appears to be cruel or Abraham seems borderline deranged. Who says, 'God told me to kill my son?'... crazy people that's who.
The KJV is one of the only versions that refers to Jehovahjireh, which only occurs once, as a place of sight. Most of the modern translations refer to it as provision. Interesting. The Hebrew word Strong's Ra'ah (Strong's H7200) does seem to allude to both concepts, sight and action that based on the information taken in.
The verses that follow Abraham's obedience are heartwarming in light of what we know about God as a Father of a Son who would later die also.
"Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said:
'By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son - blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.' " - Genesis 22:15-18 NKJV
Wow. 'Blessing I will bless you'. What a great statement. Abraham as a Father and God as a Father... there was a unique understanding and bond established.
I often marvel at the death of Christ. It is a subject that I think about almost everyday and it is possible to live detached from the reality involved... If anyone deserved to live it was Christ... He was the Son of the promise... He died so that we could live. No one need ever lift a knife again the sacrifice has been made... God saw... God provided... there was a ram right there waiting in the thicket.