Genesis 22:9-17 (New King James Version)
|Rembrandt's depiction of the sacrifice|
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide;[a] as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
what strikes me about this passage is two-fold... not only is abraham 100%, unwavering in his obedience to the Lord, but he has raised his son to be equally as obedient, even when asked to do the most unimaginable thing!
This passage has always, my entire life, troubled me. what if i were in abraham's shoes? could i have trusted God enough to provide an alternative and spare me from what He asked? would i be so obedient as to strap my child down on an alter and raise a knife above her chest? (and have i raised my daughters to be so trusting and obedient? no, my kids would have knocked me six ways to sideways and taken off for the hills.)
i'd like to think that i could say yes, i'd be so obedient, and so faithful. heck, i'd like to even use the excuse that "nobody really knows what they would do in that situation, we just have to thank God that He would never ask such a thing of us". i remember my mom used to say something similar when i'd ask about being totally obedient to God in certain circumstances.
but i'm without excuse. i KNOW the answer. i would not be so obedient. i'd be bawling and screaming and throwing a major temper tantrum before the Lord and in the end i'd tell him forget it, find someone else. my obedience would have gone only so far as to get to the destination and build an altar. and then i'd have sat there. and sat. and sat. but not in my wildest dreams can i imagine being so obedient that i would be willing to put my child on that altar. i would not have the kind of faith that God would stay my hand and provide a suitable offering at the last minute.
i would fail the test.
God, i can't even begin to say how sorry i am that i'm so stubborn, and that my faith and trust in you is so shaky at times. i guess i don't get any brownie points for honesty, but God, i can tell you this much... i'm extremely thankful that your grace and mercy cover my weaknesses. and i do really want to become more trusting, more faithful, and more obedient to you! teach me to trust you more, Father, but please, let my tests be a little less gut-wrenching than abraham's was.