Wednesday, 5 November 2014

God Will Provide

"And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together" (Gen. 22:6). Isaac was about 37 years old at this time and needed to understand what was being asked of him: "And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" (Gen. 22:7). This is the first word of dialog recorded over the three day journey... It is hard to imagine Isaac's pathos during this exchange. Abraham replied, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together (Gen. 22:8). Notice that the Hebrew could be read: "God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering -- my son!" (ירְאֶה־לּוֹ הַשֶּׂה לְעלָה בְּנִי) - making it plain that Isaac would be offered upon the altar. The Torah then repeats the phrase, "and they both walked on together," indicating that Isaac had accepted his sacrificial death in obedience to his father's will...

The life of faith is inherently paradoxical, as Kierkegaard noted: "Ethically speaking, what Abraham planned to do was to murder Isaac; religiously, however, he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. In this contradiction lies the very anguish that can indeed make anyone sleepless. And yet without that anguish Abraham is not the one he is. Neither would faith be what it is." Although Abraham understood that God must be obeyed, he also understood that human sacrifice was immoral, and hence his struggle represented the collision between the imperative of reason and the imperative of faith. Choosing to heed the voice of reason (i.e., the "ethical," the "universal") over the personal voice of God created a state of "fear and trembling" and a sense of being unable to communicate his passion and mission to others.

...from 'Hebrew for Christians'  FB page 

Imagine Abraham's feelings, wondering, all the way to Mt. Moriah, how he would ever explain his action to Sarah when he got home without Isaac. Imagine him knowing what God had told him to do, yet not being able to tell a soul beforehand. Imagine him wondering if he had REALLY heard God correctly. Imagine the attacks his mind must have been going through. 

Has God ever told YOU to do something which seems to go against everything everyone else, including church, has ever told you was right? Even against your understanding of the Bible? and what was the outcome?

How far has your faith REALLY been tested? Up until the point where everyone else thinks you're wrong, and you stand alone with the whole world against you, with those you love most, against you, not understanding you? Yet you grit your teeth, despising your Self for love of HIM who loves you more than Himself, for the upward call of God...

 Abraham, a man who had turned his back on child sacrifice in Babylon and had separated himself from the demonic practices of Canaanite Baal worship, was told BY GOD, to slit his own son's throat, drain him of blood and burn him in the fire of an altar as a sacrifice to God Himself.

What must he have thought about God? Who is this God, who asks such a thing of me? After He has given me laughter, after all these years, must I now relinquish the very gift of God, the Isaac, the joy He gave, and face the rest of my dotage with a heartbroken, bitter wife, alone? Yet I know His voice, and I have this peace that this is what He has commanded me.

Not for nothing is he called the father of faith. 

He trusted God so much... to the point where he reckoned, as Paul said, that God could raise the dead.

He was one in millions. There can't have been many with the faith and obedience of this calibre. These are the precious ones who shine like stars in the universe... like brilliant points of light in the general darkness. Oh Lord, give us this kind of faith...the faith that glorifies YOU!

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