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God commanded Abraham, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of..." (Gen. 22:2).  So Abraham set out to do God's will, and he came to the place and said to his servants, "Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you..." (22:5). But, just as Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son, the angel of the Lord called out to him, "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..." (22:10-12). Just then, Abraham saw a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. He offered it up as a burnt offering to the Lord, and then he named the place "The Lord will provide" (22:14).

God had given Abraham instructions on how he was to worship Him. Abraham was then bound to that command, and it was only when God Himself amended it that it could go undone or be altered in any way. After God changed His command, He provided an alternative sacrifice to take Isaac's place. But without God's authorization, Abraham by no means could have altered his worship.

I fear that today many are busy searching for the "ram in the thicket" rather than accepting the will of God. People seem to be ever ready to change God-authorized worship. They are looking for what they feel is a "better" or "more spiritual" way to worship. They want to take "the fruit of our lips" (Heb. 13:15) in song, and add mechanical instruments and/or hand-clapping. They want to partake of the Lord's Supper less frequently so that it will not "lose its meaning."

I urge you to stop looking for the ram caught in the thicket. No longer will God change His instructions for worship. His Word, which contains "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3), has been "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). It is complete, and will never be changed again. "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecc. 12:13).

—adapted, Darrell Powell
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