This story has always blown me away. As a parent, it’s even harder to fathom the complete trust that Abraham shows in God. If you read this story by itself, it seems cruel and heartless. How could God ask something like this of Abraham? If you have been following along with reading the stories leading up to this, you have a different frame of reference.Abraham and God had a special relationship. James 2:23 refers to Abraham as God’s friend: “And the scripture was fulfilled that says,
‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend.” They had been through a lot together and God had proven His faithfulness to Abraham over and over. Isaac was a gift to Abraham in his old age and God promised that Abraham’s descendants would be too numerous to count. Did he know that God would somehow make a way to spare his son?
This is one of the stories that I really wish had more detail to it. I would love to know what Abraham was thinking. Was his faith so strong that he just obediently followed without question, or was his heart so tight in his chest that he could barely breathe as he bound his son and put him on the altar? What about Isaac? Was his faith so strong in the love of his father that he obediently complied, or was he terrified of what might be coming? I wonder if the truth is a mixture of all of that….
Our faith journey is not one that doesn’t allow for questions. Sometimes, God just doesn’t make sense. Our hearts cry out in pain and frustration as we wonder why He allows some of the things to happen that He does. But as we walk with Him over time, we begin to develop faith in Him and His ways. Do we always understand? No, but as our relationship deepens we trust that He will somehow work every situation out for our good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Kim Feld Director of Small Group Ministry