God provided another sacrifice so that Abraham would not have to kill his laughter/joy.
Abraham is the father of the faith. He’s the pioneer. He’s the initial recipient of a promise.
His wife laughed when she heard that she would have a baby. His name means laughter. His son, Isaac, was the promise.
Then, it seems that God the Promise Giver changes his mind and asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Did He ask Abraham to sacrifice his laughter/joy? It looks that way. One thing we, myself included, need to understand about God is that He asks things that don’t always make sense to us at the moment.
It’s easy for us to look back at this story and marvel at how cruel God was to ask for the sacrifice of a promise. But in the culture of Abraham’s day, that would not be what they would have taken as the special part of the story. In his day, the gods were always asking for something to be sacrificed so that they would be appeased. They “give” you something. They ask for it back. It was normal. They gods were crazy.
Abraham, who previously worshipped the moon, would not have thought this behavior to be out of the norm. It’s not outlandish to think that Abraham was at least familiar with sacrifice, if not human sacrifice. When God commanded him to do this, Abraham did not question how this was to be done.
The part of the story that the world of the day would’ve marvelled at would be that this God stopped the sacrifice and provided a substitute! Yes, He asked for the sacrifice but He provides the sacrifice!
Lots of people think that God is a killjoy, God is trying to limit your fun, or God wants your life to be boring. In fact, the opposite is true. God is about enhancing your joy! God is trying to show you the way of ultimate fun! God wants your life to look like the polar opposite of boring!
God has set up his kingdom so that one-third of it is joy!
God didn’t want Abraham to kill his laughter/joy because joy is strength! Now, we must be constantly listening to Spirit so that we don’t accidentally kill our joy. Had Abraham not heard the angel of the Lord he would’ve killed his joy and promise in one strike of the knife.
Constant listening obedience is what keeps us in the will of God.
So, go ahead and laugh a little. Laughter is your medicine. Joy is your strength. Life is your inheritance.