Abraham, the Friend of God
January 8th 2010 03:13
Although it seems wrong for a wife to scold her husband, at least in the eyes of a Middle Eastern value system. Still, Sarah tried to confront her husband, Abraham.
They had only the one son, and of course, he was born quite late according to the Scriptures. His mother was around ninety years old when he was born. He was quite extraordinary in terms of his birth. His father may have been astounded when God told him that he would father a son to his aged wife. Still, God’s relation to Abraham was rather astounding anyhow.
This was before the days of the Ten Commandments. People lived largely by the laws that were written on their own consciences. Abraham tried to live as God had commanded him. Abraham was obviously a man who endeavored to be as Godly as he could be.
Anyhow, Sarah tried to persuade Abraham against his intended goal. That goal was to take his son, Isaac, to the area around Mount Moriah and offer to sacrifice the boy to God. As mentioned above, there were no Ten Commandments yet at that time so the idea of killing was written only in the hearts of humans, not on a carved out piece of granite.
Abraham, though, was adamant to do what he felt God intended for him. Somehow, he knew that God had an answer, even if Abraham actually did put a knife though his son’s heart. Abraham was not a madman according to the Scriptures. Instead, he was a godly man. His motives were to please the God whom he had worshipped and tried to love. This plan that God had placed in the mind of Abraham was clearly rational to God although it did not make sense to the godly human who was to initiate the plan.
In Abraham’s own mind was the fear that Sarah his wife had been cautioning him about. Still, when God asks us to do something, it is reasonable to God. The man may not see anything reasonable about God’s treasure.
Even the son was not sure how the plan would work. He mentioned to Abraham that they had the knife and wood and rope, but there was no sacrifice among their possessions as they headed toward Mount Moriah. No lamb and not even a few turtledoves to sacrifice. God used the father’s words to help the youngster understand. “God will provide the sacrifice,” said the father to Isaac.
As they began the journey, Abraham took Isaac and two other men on the three day trip to Mount Moriah. Actually, the place was historic from that day to today. Mount Moriah is the place where Jerusalem would one day stand.
Undoubtedly, Abraham had tremendous fears about this project. He had solitary pain in his heart at the thought of Isaac being bound on the wooden altar and being ready for Abraham to put a knife through his son’s heart. How could he face his wife after being guilty of killing his son. He may have even wondered if the two servants he had with him would kill him for his ungodly act. How could Abraham even think of releasing himself for what he was about to do? Surely, Abraham’s fear was very agonizing on this trip to the mountain.
Regardless of the fears he had, Abraham bound his son with the rope and placed his body on the altar. The boy’s alarms and cries should have caused Abraham to begin to realize the hopelessness of his act.
Knowing that God had positioned him to this point, Abraham raised his hands very high and held the blade in such a way as to hit Isaac’s heart. Just at that minute, an angel of God raised his voice. “Abraham, Abraham,” called the angel and got Abraham’s attention.
A voice from the Heavens called out to Abraham. “Do not harm the boy. I know that you fear God and would even give the life of your son.”
A ram was heard in the thicket beyond Abraham. The boy was soon untied and helped to lay the ram on the altar. The sacrifice went on and Isaac lived to tell the story.
The story is one of the Patriarch’s tales to this day. The Jews still tell the story and many Christians also relate the story.
Among the features in the story is the idea that Abraham, although he had never heard of Jesus who would be born much later, was a type of God and Isaac was a type of Jesus. God gave his only Son. Just as Abraham was ready to do with Isaac, God’s Son died to save the people who would believe in Him. Of course, the terrifying story of Abraham and Isaac is so little in comparison to God giving His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us.
In the book of Genesis, Abraham is called as the Friend of God. I wonder how many of us Christians would give as much as Abraham offered to God.
I recall a missionary in South America. He was found dead after the people whom he loved killed him. In his Bible is a quote that has meant so much to me. “No man is a fool who gives something that he cannot keep to gain something that he cannot lose.”
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