“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
As we see in Genesis Chapter 22, after God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in order to “prove” him, Abraham responds by rising early the next morning and heading out in the direction of Moriah. After a three day journey Abraham sees the mountain God wants this sacrifice to take place. What happens next is remarkable to me. In verse five of Genesis twenty-two, Abraham says, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
How on earth could Abraham call what he was about to do worship, but that is exactly what he did. And He tells his servants to wait while he and Isaac “go yonder.” Now at first glance it may sound like Abraham is a southerner like myself, but in reality the word “yonder” could have just as easily been translated to say “there.” In either case the point is the same, and that is that worship requires leaving one place and going to another.
Now I’m not talking about some kind of out of body experience here, although Paul did have one of those, what I’m referring to is the leaving of one place in pursuit of another. To truly worship, one has to leave the realm of self focus and move into a place of God focus. David calls it the secret place. That place of complete intimacy with the Father that requires full abandonment of one’s self and agenda and this was the place that Abraham was headed to.
Sure Abraham had gotten way out of his comfort zone and built several altars before, but nothing could have prepared him for this, and remarkably he calls this worship.The word worship here is the Hebrew word shachah and it literally means to “prostrate one’s self.” To truly go “yonder” is to totally and completely lay down our hopes, our dreams, our visions and our agendas for the sake of Him.
Abraham that day was willing to lay everything down, including his only son, in worship of his Heavenly Father. Now in one sense, that may sound a lot like martyrdom, but Abraham had enough history with the Father by this time in his life to know that anything he laid down God would restore. According to Hebrews 11:17-19 Abraham believed that if Isaac had died that day, that God would raise him back to life. Remarkable, given the fact that as far as we know, God had not raised anyone from the dead at that point in history.
It’s easy to get possessive of the things, blessings and relationships God brings in our lives. It’s a good thing to remind ourselves that it’s all His and if it wasn’t for Him we would have never had the opportunity to enjoy many of the things and relationships we do.
Abraham was willing to “go yonder,” and lay it all on the altar in worship to the Father. Have you been yonder in regard to your business, your job, your family, or whatever you hold dear? It is in the yonder place of worship that we give back to Him what He’s given us and in return He gives us back more than we could ever imagine.
Today’s Thought: It is in that “yonder place” of worship that we give Him back everything that He has placed in our hands so that it can be used for His glory.