Monday, May 2, 2011

Genesis 22:5-8

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. (Gen. 22:5-8)

There are many important things to note in this passage which is a portrayal of the story of redemption through Christ. As Beth Moore says, it’s the first account of the gospel in the Old Testament.

As Abraham prepares to climb the mountain, he tells the servants, We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Somehow, Abraham believed God would step in and Isaac would either be spared or brought back to life. I cannot imagine the struggle there must have been within him. Abraham places the wood on Isaac - just as Christ carried his own cross. They go on for a while, when Isaac speaks up. “Um, Dad? Haven’t you forgotten something? I see the fire and wood - but where are we going to get the lamb up here on the mountain?”

Abraham’s response is, “God himself will provide the lamb...,” or, as the King James Version reads, “God will provide himself a lamb...” Abraham had all the confidence in the world that God would provide. He did not know how, but he knew God would be faithful to His promise through Isaac. Abraham could not have fully understood, but God would, indeed, provide the way of salvation through His own Son.

This is truly a story of letting go and trusting God completely. Most of us will never be asked to make such a sacrifice of our children, but some do. Moms who watch their sons or daughters go off to war and those who sit by the bedside of a child suffering from cancer must also relinquish all control to God.

Years ago, when Molly was entering high school, a school friend, Lisa, was suffering from, and eventually died of cancer. I ran into her mother a few months before Lisa died and asked her how she was doing it - holding up in the middle of all of it. She held up a book she had in her hand with the title The Sovereignty of God, and she said, “This is how I do it!” She knew without a doubt that God loved her daughter much more than she did, and that He had a plan that was bigger than just them. And this is that ripple effect that Beth Moore talks about. When God puts us through something hard, it’s because He’s going to do something HUGE! Surely, through watching Lisa and her family go through the horrible ordeal with such faith, God was honored and many lives were impacted. God redeemed, and continues to redeem lives through Lisa’s story.

Tomorrow we’ll finish off this chapter and see the results of Abraham’s faith and God’s faithfulness.
I’m off to work, while Don’s staying home to play! Good for him! :)


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