Summary: Just as a child opens their arms wide to demonstrate their love we too need to open our entire life, past, present and future to the will of God. We need to make our life wide open and that is what Abraham did. For his hopes and dreams at this point in
The Summit of Sacrifice
Those of you who have children or grand-children will find todays message a challenge and an inspiration. Do you remember being a child and being asked by your mother or father that universal question? How much do you love me? Most of us can remember demonstrating our answer by spreading our arms out wide apart and saying I love you this much. Its a simple maybe silly little expression that is often used to communicate the depth and breadth of our love for our parents or our children.
We often did it in our home almost like a little game. I expanded the game for my children as they got older and the outstretched arm thing no longer invoked the same interest. I came up with a little phrase which I posed as a question. Did I tell you today? I would ask. The children would look back at me and ask tell me what? I love you would always be my response. They would respond with a smile.
In todays bible passage we see God asking Abraham to demonstrate his love with a test. God says Abraham take the son, your only son the one you waited and waited for and even though he represents the fulfillment of the promise I made to you I want you to offer him to me as a burnt sacrifice.
Wow! What brought all this on one might wonder? Why now? Had Abraham done something to displease God? Do you ever wonder why God tests you from time to time? Do you ever wonder, why now, why today, why this issue, why this person? Those are all good questions that can help you find the answers.
This is the same Abraham that had previously negotiated with God over the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and we know how that turned out. There are just some things you dont negotiate with God. In the case of those two cities it was sin but in this circumstance it is a promise that we are concerned with.
You see God promised to make Abraham the father of many nations. He made that promise to Abraham and he and his wife had no evidence from God that the promise would be fulfilled. All they had was Gods word. Abraham was 99 years old when God made this promise so you can understand why Sarah laughed when she heard it.
She was about 89 and well past child bearing years. Still Abraham believed God. He had good reason to after all he witnessed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham realized God was all powerful.
But why at the end of his life was this gift from God about to be taken away and why was he to be the one to end his treasured sons life?
What I learn from this story is that God seeks our obedience not for fear of Him but for his love. Just as a child opens their arms wide to demonstrate their love we too need to open our entire life, past, present and future to the will of God. We need to make our life wide open and that is what Abraham did. For his hopes and dreams at this point in his life were focused on his son not on his God.
Seeing the miracle that was Isaac must have been amazing all by itself. Both Abraham and Sarah must have marveled at it all.
Abraham was to inherit a promise a very great promise. God would not go back on his word. Abraham realized or reasoned that God could raise his son back to life or somehow fulfill the promise through some miraculous way. Abraham was willing to surrender his future to God.
This week I had to address something I had been holding on to for about eight years. You see back in 1999 they had this big hype about computers not being able to roll over to the year 2000. They called it The Millennium Bug. They predicted all kinds of chaos as a result.
Im embarrassed to admit it but I bought into the hype and fear and started to take what I thought were reasonable measures for my future and the future of my family. Many authors had predicted near biblical scenarios like Sodom and Gomorrah type destruction as a result of a global computer meltdown.
I decided one of the things I needed to do was to buy precious metals since money was going to be hard to come by and people would be forced to barter. Well the infamous bug came and went without as much as a hiccup from the global computer systems. I had turned from my trust in God to protect me and took matters into my own hands.