I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas, I really do love this time of year as I’ve stated many times before at this point. Another thing I love about this month where we remember the birth of Christ, and the sacrifice he made for us, is it allows me a chance to wrestle with some parts of the word that i struggle with, and until last night, there was a very specific part of genesis that I had trouble comprehending. That part is Abraham and Issac.
The passage is genesis 22 (1-19) but I’ll be picking through the verses ( a link to the whole passage is available here Genesis 22- Abraham Tested ) but the gist of this passage is the Lord tests Abraham’s dedication to him by asking him to give his only son as a burnt offering ( Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you)
As they arrived at the mountain, Abraham made the altar and tied Isaac to it and was about to slay Isaac on this altar (When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son) Before the angel of the Lord stopped him (Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.) and provided a trapped ram to be a sacrifice in place of Isaac. After the ram was sacrificed, the angel spoke to Abraham for a second time and said ( “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Now, This is a passage I struggled with a lot in all honesty, i had trouble comprehending how Abraham could even consider sacrificing Isaac, I wondered why the lord would ever ask Abraham to do such a thing, and I really did struggle with this till the lord gave me insight the night before writing this, and it was made clear for me.
There are two things to take away from this passage, one of them is a comment that Abraham makes to Isaac before he ties him to the altar, he says “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” this really goes to show the trust that Abraham has in God, that he knows that in the end, all things will work out, as long as he’s faithful to God, but this also has much more significance than just showing the character of Abraham, and this leads into the second point.
The part I find the most interesting about this passage is we aren’t told how Abraham is feeling during all of this. But we don’t need to imagine, because i think even those of us without children (like me) can envision the turmoil that he must be going through at the time, because it’s a troubling situation from a human perspective to be put in. Would you be able to give up someone or something you love if the Lord asked you to? Yet this is what God did for us, he gave his only son for our sin.
The important thing to note about Abraham’s words is “God will provide the lamb” yet he was given a ram for his offering, not a lamb, because that’s not the lamb that he was talking about, but that Lamb was Jesus, the one that saved us from the corruption of sin and the world, and allowed us, through his sacrifice upon the cross, to be in a loving relationship with our Father once more, and I feel that the reason God asked Abraham to go though this was to show him and in turn us, that as unthinkable as it’d be to sacrifice one of our children, that’s the love the Lord has for us. He does the unthinkable in love and the humanly impossible in mercy and grace, such is the wonder of our lord.
I hope this is helpful for anyone else that also struggles with this passage and that this may remind you that, there’s nothing wrong with having questions relating to the word, we are called to go deeper with our understanding of his word, so questions are a natural part of that!
It’s my prayer that the Good Lord will bless you in this new year, thank you to everyone that reads these, it honestly means a lot to me! And as always
Thank you for reading and May God Bless you.
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Song of the week ( Eikon-Fire From Heaven )