Lessons on Surrender from Mount Moriah

Mount Moriah, a place of testing. Where God takes us to deeper trust, obedience, and surrender. But it’s also full of tricky loopholes…

Moriah, which means chosen by God, was where God had his temple built, for it was a place special and holy to him. It was also where he sent King David to make sacrifice after his sin of taking census (1 Chronicles 21). Such a little thing, counting the people. But it showed his reliance on military might instead of God. Which angered God and caused him to send a plague.

So he sent David to make things right. In God’s chosen way and at his chosen place – on Mount Moriah. And that’s when a loophole appeared for David, for Moriah is full of them. Because it’s at Moriah that God takes us to a deeper place.

Moriah, a place of deeper obedience

It’s where God takes us to a place of deeper trust and obedience. Where we learn the harder lessons of life. To not take the easy way, but to give God our best.

The Moriah loopholes

And that’s when 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 that presented itself to David was the offer of all that was necessary for the sacrifice at just the right time. “Look how the Lord provided everything!” he could have thought.

A place for giving our best

Moriah is a place for learning that God wants our best. And David learned that giving God our best comes with a price tag. He is not content with half-hearted service or second-hand offerings. We cannot take the easy way out.

So David paid for the threshing floor, the oxen, the wood, and the grain. “I can’t offer something that’s not even mine, and which cost me nothing,” he said. This pleased the Lord, and the plague stopped.

Watch out for those Moriah loopholes. The good and logical choices that try to snatch our focus and deter us from following through on what God has shown us.

A place of death

Moriah is also a place a place of death. Abraham’s Moriah lesson went even deeper. “I don’t want only your best,” God said. “I want all.”

Now take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of. 

Genesis 22:2 WEB

There on that mount Abraham learned that the only things we can offer God are those which we have totally renounced. Moriah is being willing to relinquish our dreams, all we hold dear, and even God’s promises.

I likely would have grabbed the loophole of common sense. Saying, “Ridiculous! God doesn’t demand such heathenish things!” And refusing to budge even an inch, would have congratulated myself on my great discernment!

But after years of walking with God, perhaps Abraham understood the dangers of trusting common sense more than faith. And knew that good, sensible choices don’t always come from God. But sometimes appear to distract us from God’s vision. We’ll never know for sure what thoughts swirled in his mind.

God wants all

But Abraham knew that God wants all. So just as David didn’t grab at the easy, cost-free offering, Abraham didn’t take the easy way out either. And God rewarded his obedience by providing a ram in place of Isaac.

These men did not jump at the loopholes of common sense. They had learned that walking with God not only costs – but that it costs everything. It’s an all or nothing proposition.

Our own Mount Moriah

And how about when we find ourselves on Mount Moriah? For we will sooner or later if we’re walking with God. Wanting to bring us to greater trust and obedience, he takes us through the deeper lessons of Moriah. And that’s the time to watch for the loopholes.

  • Perhaps because, like David, we’ve strayed from the Lord’s vision. And trusting in our own strength, we make wrong and hasty decisions. God takes us back to the path of obedience, at Moriah.
  • Or maybe, like Abraham, we faithfully follow, no matter the cost; or so we think. But God, who knows our heart, puts us to the test, on Moriah. “Am I really first? Will you give me all?”

Sooner or later – and perhaps many times in our Christian walk – we will find ourselves on Mount Moriah. God’s chosen place of death. Of dying to ourselves, to all we have, and to all that we hold dear.

Moriah costs, and costs dearly. But it is also the way to endless blessing and place of great provision. And still today, God provides all we need to keep following him.

But we need to watch for the loopholes!

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 22:14 KJV

Images Woman praising | Pinkish mountains | Yellowish mountains.

10 replies on “Lessons on Surrender from Mount Moriah”

Thank you, Patty! I hadn’t realized that the Lord had called David to make that sacrifice at Mount Moriah, and was so amazed when I learned it. It surely showed me that there are deep lessons in Mount Moriah. And I’m sure that I’ve only barely brushed the surface. As my husband often says, “The word of God is simple enough for a child to understand. But so deep that we can never fully plumb its depths!”

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There’s a heaviness in what the Lord asks–all of us. If I’m thinking of me. But you’re right–He’s asking me to give Him all that He Himself has already given me. This is a lot to think about, my friend. Faith is such an incredible–and often difficult–choice. But always the right one. I appreciate your insights.


Yes there can be a heaviness indeed, Dayle. But as you say, he’s only asking for what he himself has given us. Moriah is full of hard, hard lessons. Yet, as Scripture has shown, the surrender it can lead us into is a place of great blessing and provision. And therefore, a marvelous uplifting of God’s glory! May the Holy Spirit make us willing – that’s what we I need!

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Great insights and encouragement! Yes, God is always in the business of growing us closer to Him and He’s not afraid of the difficult spaces for “nothing is impossible for HIm.” Oh, may I trust Him when it doesn’t seem right, when I’m suffering, when it’s hard…for He has always been and always will be ever-present and faithful to His own.


Thank you so much Amy. I’ve always been drawn to Abraham’s episode on Mount Moriah. But had never before realized that David had one too. Like you said, Mt. Moriah times are hard – but oh the fruit they bring to our lives! And yes, may the Lord always keep us faithful and following – no matter how hard it gets! Thanks for stopping by!! – Be blessed, Sheila


Sheila, Great post. Thank you for making the connection between David and Abraham on Mt. Moriah. I had not thought of the two experiences together. Great insight. Hope you are well and thriving. Many blessings, my dear sister. Karen


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