Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Genesis 20-22 Reflections

And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. (Gen 21:1-2)

In the first two verses of this chapter God wants us to understand something very clearly, He left no room for doubt when He inspired these verses to be written. Isaac was born exactly as God had promised. The thing that caused both Abraham and Sarah to laugh with doubt, the thing that seemed beyond impossible happened. And it happened not by chance, but by the decree of Almighty God. When God promises something, take it to bank and relax, His word is better than gold. Just as He promised Abraham and Sarah a son, He has promised that His Son will return. We don't have to fret and wonder; if it seems as though He is tarrying too long we must confidently place our hope in His promise. Just as Eve never saw the promise fulfilled in the flesh, we look at the word He has given us and see that indeed, He is faithful.

Furthermore, imagine the joy, imagine how treasured this son was. This gift of God. I can't begin to comprehend the sorrow I would have felt if I were in Abraham's shoes the day God called him to sacrifice Isaac. But Abraham finally seems to desire to be obedient to God more than anything else. He had God's promise that Isaac would be the one through whom he would become a father of nations, and though he certainly didn't understand why God would call him to give up the very thing that he had been promised he set out to be obedient. Notice how long the trip was, this was ample time to allow Abraham to think about things and yet he proceeds forward. My heart broke for Abraham as he bound his beloved son, preparing to sacrifice him in obedience to God. Abraham learned that though he might love something, or in this case someone, he could not allow this good thing to hinder his total submission to the Lord. In the end God provided a substitute - how Abraham's heart must have soared as he loosed Isaac! How Isaac's heart must have soared as he was saved from death!

Though he didn't understand what was going on at the time, Isaac surely was blessed by this experience. He saw that total submission to God is required, even when the thing we must give up is dear to us, he saw in his father a desire to honor God above all else. He would have learned later that though his father didn't understand why God would require such a sacrifice, especially given the Promise, Abraham had faith that even when things don't make sense God is supreme and will work all things for the good of His people.