Precious Truth: In Christ, we are given every resource to live abundantly. God provides for the sacrifice He requires.
Things are not always as they seem.
Today’s Reading from The Word
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, â€œAbraham!â€
â€œHere I am,â€ he replied.
2 Then God said, â€œTake your son, your only son, whom you loveâ€”Isaacâ€”and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.â€
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, â€œStay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.â€
6 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, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, â€œFather?â€
â€œYes, my son?â€ Abraham replied.
â€œThe fire and wood are here,â€ Isaac said, â€œbut where is the lamb for the burnt offering?â€
8 Abraham answered, â€œGod himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.â€ And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, â€œAbraham! Abraham!â€
â€œHere I am,â€ he replied.
12 â€œDo not lay a hand on the boy,â€ he said. â€œDo not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.â€
At Christmas the message is all about “giving”. At least it seems that way. We are bombarded with top Ten gift lists, and flyers that implore us to give generously whether it is to stores, or charities, or just to ourselves. Give, give, give. Buy, buy, buy. I engage in it myself… so I am not deploring the situation, just expressing it. It is a little too much “give” in overdrive. And that adds to the frantic, hectic feeling that many people have at Christmastime. The time that is suppose to encourage and nurture peace and joy.
But there is a type of giving that enriches the giver. Sometimes far longer than anyone could ever imagine. Abraham tapped into just such a spirit of giving. He gave sacrificially to God. He simply trusted that God knew what he was doing, even when it meant entrusting the life of his long awaited son. His promise, or at least the key part of all the promises that Abraham had held onto.
It was a shattering moment- to give up what he had desired for so long, which had taken so long to appear. I wonder if we would be up to the task of trusting God in this way in our present state. What creates the faith that puts God first?
I believe it is in the accumulation of little choices.
Every day we can make the choice to trust God for that day, and each day builds into a lifetime …. and into a relationship, because God never works in a one-way manner.
Today let’s think about faithfulness, and becoming more faithful. Like Abraham, like Joseph, like Mary.
And in the end, most of all, like the sacrificial Lamb that that miraculous ram represents: like Christ. When I think on this, I think I understand why the angels sang so gloriously on the night of Christ’s nativity. In Christ, we can find the strength for sacrifice, and the endurance for future glory. We can find the example of how to live life, and how to love others. God gave His best, what can my response be for this day?