What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Relationship? Financial? Career? Future? Why was it so risky? Stakes involved? Lack of information? Uncertain outcome?
In our story today, Abraham makes what seems to be the riskiest decision of his life…going all in with God. The promises/commitments made by both the LORD and Abraham are tested to their limits. With the perplexing command that Abraham sacrifice Isaac, how could God possibly fulfill His covenant with Abraham to make him into a great nation through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed? Called upon to make such a costly sacrifice, how will Abraham remain obedient to his covenant commitment? This story presents the radical nature of faith: tremendous demands and incredible blessings.
And in our story, we have insider information, we know what Abraham doesn’t…God is testing him. As I reflected on the story of Abraham’s life and particularly on this episode, I had to ask myself the question: Could I have trusted God in that moment? Would I be able to trust God’s character, who I know Him to be, who He’s revealed Himself to be, more than my circumstances?
Abraham is what Soren Kirkegaard calls the knight of faith. Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed the absurd, that he knew that God could bring Isaac back even from the dead…Abraham had no doubt that he would bring Isaac back down the mountain with him. Abraham had the courage to obey, no matter the cost, trusting God fully that He would provide and that He would keep His promise.
What about you? Where are you in your faith journey? Are you in one of those testing times? Have you come to place where you know that God can be trusted…no matter the circumstances? Or are you still somewhere along the way? Are you able to believe the absurd, that radical obedience doesn’t mean the surrender of your joy, but the opposite, the realization of joy unimaginable? In fact, forgiveness of sins cannot make us happy if it is not accompanied by the radical renovation of our natures. For you dads out there, are you passing on your faith to your children? Can they discern the greatest of your faith by your actions?
This story is a glimpse at what God will ultimately do in order to redeem mankind and provide the way back to Himself. Isaac is a picture of the Genesis 3.15, but he’s not the One. One day God will send the One…His own Son. He will live a perfect life…He will be innocent…but He will willing sacrifice Himself in order to crush the head of the serpent and provide the way back to paradise. God the Father will provide for Himself the Lamb, so that we might, through faith in Him, have a way back to the Father. Jesus became the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world.
My prayer for us is that we will believe the absurd and trust God for great things, having the courage to follow Him no matter what the cost.
Until next time…stay salty.