Sunday, March 21, 2010

Abraham and Isaac

I marvel as I read the story of Abraham and Isaac at the dispassionate way in which the book of Genesis relates the story. It would be amazing if the passage had been written by say, Fyodor Dostoyevky in the style of a psychological novel with all the internal wrestlings of both Abraham and Isaac revealed.

Imagine the scene of old Abraham at the age of approximately 125 years taking a rope and binding 25 year old Isaac and suggesting he take his place on the pile of prepared firewood that Isaac had carried to the place on his own shoulders. What thoughts must be going through Isaac’s mind? He is certainly strong enough to resist his ancient father, but he submits to being bound and placed on the alter.

What emotions must Abraham be experiencing as he reaches for the knife? How does he continue to trust God, who has given him this son in whom is bound up such an amazing promise. What if God had not spoken in that hideous moment as he raised the knife.

I wonder if Abraham expected that Isaac would be raised from death? He had God’s assurance that Isaac was the child of promise, and yet he had been told to lay him on the altar.

What amazing confidence Abraham had in his ability to hear God’s voice….and in God’s ability to keep His promises despite any circumstances. And yet, we sometimes believe that God’s plan has been thwarted somehow, and His purposes has been derailed.

But it has not….

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