Thursday, December 4, 2008

making sacrifices

This morning I was reading in the bible the story of Abraham and Sarah, the promise of a child ... and continued to read through the story of Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 22:1-19, along with one of Stormies  going deeper ... 

"Sometime later God tested Abraham. HE said to him. 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied. Then God said, ' Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.' Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey..." Genesis 22:1-3

Sometimes God asks the strangest things. Noah had to build and ark miles away from any body of water and put in stalls that would somehow be filled with animals. 

But nothing quite matches the task given to Abraham. Not only did God ask him to kill his son, God was taking away from Abraham that answer to the promise he had waited 25 years to receive. Isaac was Abraham's heir, the child promised to Abraham and Sarah, the child born in their old age. For Isaac to die would also kill the dream.

Or would it?

IT seems that Abraham did not waste anytime worrying about it. HE got up early the next morning, saddled his donkey, roused the sleepy boy and 2 servants, cut some wood, and set out for the 3 day journey. What went through his mind during those 3 long day? I imagine that Abraham talked to God a lot.. And such was Abraham's relationship with God that he trusted God. He did not understand, he knew that obeying God would hurt him to the core, but he kept right on walking. He kept right on obeying. When he got to the place, he built the alter, bound his son, laid him on the alter, and raised the knife.

Could any of us trust God that much?

Our hearts wince at the thought of sacrificing a human being. But we would be wise to consider how this story gives an astounding picture of what God HIMSELF would do for us. As Isaac carried the wood for the burnt offering, so Jesus carried His own cross. As Abraham placed Isaac on the alter, so God placed His Son on the cross. AS Abraham raised his knife in order to kill his son in obedience to Gd, so God allowed Jesus to be put to death so that sin could be punished and forgiveness could be given. Abraham knew that God would provide the lamb for the offering. (22:8) Many years later, He did John the Baptist pointed this out to his followers; "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 2.29).

How much do you trust God - REALLY? Enough to die for Him? Enough to let a dream in your life die? How about enough to live for Him?

So why did this stand out to me today ... Last night I attended the first Ladies Ministry Christmas Celebrate at Brookside Community Church. Liz, the women's ministry director, spoke on the greatest gift we have ever received - Jesus. Reading the story of Abraham and Isaac reinforced for me the power of that Gift.
Although Jeremy is not here yet, I am able to relate to Abraham. I will walk in trust and obedience to Gods will for me and my family. MY drive into school today was very emotional, and I always let the tears fall. I will walk in faith that God does have my heart in his palm, and he will take care of me. Through everything. During the drive, I was listening to the radio, the new car has XM, and I found The Message, contemporary christian music ... three songs hit me particularly strong today and I will be going to iTunes later to add them to my collection.
- Nicole Nordema, BRAVE
- LincolnBrewster, Today is the Day
- 33 Miles, Thank You

Just what I needed, my tears started with sadness, then changed to praise, thanksgiving and pure joy! 
Continue to walk in faith, trust and obedience - all things are possible with God.


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