Wednesday, October 22, 2008
faith, pure and simple.
"Abraham, worth a righteous one.
Take up on the wood,
put it on your son.
Lake or lamb.
There is none to harm.
When the angel came,
you had raised your arm.
Abraham, put off on your son.
Take instead the ram
until Jesus comes"
The story of Abraham and Isaac...
The story of Abraham’s son Isaac tells us about the quality of Abraham’s faith. Abraham’s wife Sarah was beyond childbearing years when God told Abraham that they would have a child. That child was Isaac and God promised to make Abraham the father of His people through that child. (Genesis 15:1-18) Isaac was much loved by his father and Abraham would have done anything to protect this very special son.
One day, God spoke to Abraham and told him to take Isaac up into a place in the mountains and sacrifice him on an altar. The father and son traveled towards the mountain with wood for the fire and the altar but no lamb for the sacrifice. Isaac said, “… My father…behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7) Abraham answered that God would provide the lamb. Abraham went where he was instructed and built an altar. He laid the wood around it to sacrifice Isaac on it as a burnt offering. He bound Isaac and laid him on the altar. As he raised his knife to slay his beloved son, a voice spoke from heaven: “And he said, 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.” (Genesis 22:12)
To our modern sensibilities this is a horrifying story. It was certainly a horror to Abraham, too, to be asked to sacrifice this son that God had promised to do so much through. And therein lies the key to Abraham’s faith, he knew beyond any doubt that God would make good on His promise. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,” (Hebrews 11:17) He couldn’t have known how, but he must have known that God would somehow make everything work out for the good. Armed with that faith, Abraham was able to be absolutely obedient.
1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2And he said, 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.
3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, 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?
8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12And he said, 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.
13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14And 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.
15And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Could I do it? Would I do it? I want to say yes, but really think about it...
Binding Oliver up with rope and placing him onto a altar that I am going to burn after I kill him?! Kill him. Abraham, you have the faith that I want to have. Did he ever wonder, "Is this Satan telling me to sacrifice my son?" That is what I would have done. I would have searched for any reason not to do it. Praise God that Abraham was faithful. I want to have the relationship that Abraham had with God.