Moriah, which means chosen by God, was where God had his temple built, for it was a place special and holy to him. And it was also where David had to make sacrifice after his sin of taking census (1 Chronicles 21). Such a little thing, counting the people. But it showed that he was relying on military might and power, not on God. This angered God and caused him to send a plague.
So God sent David to make things right. At his chosen place, and in his chosen way. On Mount Moriah. And that’s when the loophole showed up. Moriah is full of loopholes.
Because it’s on Mount Moriah, that God takes us to a deeper place of trust and obedience.
It’s where we learn the harder lessons of life. To not take the easy way, but to give God our best.
And it’s in those moments that we need to watch for the loopholes. Those good, and even logical, choices that try to snatch our focus and deter us from following through on what God has shown us.
The loophole David found before him was having everything necessary provided at just the right time. “Look how the Lord provided everything needed for sacrifice!” he could have thought. “Only God does that!”
But on Mount Moriah, God taught David not to take the easy way. “I can’t just take something, and then offer it to the LORD as a sacrifice when it cost me nothing,” he said. He learned that God wants our best, and only our best.
But Abraham’s Mount Moriah lesson went even deeper. “I don’t just want your best,” God told him. “I want all.”
For Moriah is also a place of death.
There on that mount Abraham learned that the only things we can offer God are those which we have totally renounced.
Moriah is the death of our dreams, of all we hold near and dear. And even the death of God’s promises.
But after so many years of walking with God, perhaps Abraham understood loopholes. He knew that good, sensible choices, don’t always come from God. That sometimes they only come to distract us from God’s vision.
Had we been sent to sacrifice our child, we would probably have said, “Silence, Satan! You know God doesn’t demand such heathenish things!” And went straight back down the mountain, congratulating ourselves on our great discernment.
David didn’t grab at the easy, cost-free offering. And Father Abraham didn’t take the easy way out either. They had learned that walking with God not only costs, but that it costs everything. It’s an all or nothing proposition. When we find ourselves on Mount Moriah, for we will—if we’re trying to progress in our walk with God—that is the time for extra attentiveness.
Loopholes will present themselves. Good choices, so full of sound logic.
For sooner or later, and perhaps many times, we will find ourselves on Mount Moriah. Perhaps because, like David, we’ve strayed from the Lord’s vision. And like him, started trusting in what we have, who we are, or what we can do.
Or maybe, like Abraham, we’re endeavoring to faithfully follow, keeping to his vision, no matter the cost.
And that is, perhaps when loopholes are most likely to show up. And they will always come on Moriah — God’s chosen place, a place of dying. Dying to ourselves, to all that we have, and all that we hold dear. Mount Moriah will cost, and will cost dearly. But it is also the way to endless blessing.
Because Moriah, God’s chosen place of death, is also the place of great provision.
So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided’, (Genesis 22:14)
And still today, God provides all we need to keep following him. But we must watch for the loopholes.
[Image of loopy street in our village ©TheScorziellos-Mario]