Today’s Bible passage is Genesis Chapter 22, which one writer describes as ‘one of the most dramatic and theologically significant episodes in Genesis’. I might add in the whole of the Old Testament, so we’ll probably take a couple of days to think about it.
Abraham is being tested by the Lord, and he faces a great dilemna of being faithfully obedient to what God says and putting Him before what is most important to him on earth, his son, who Abraham knows is a special gift from the Lord. In many senses this is a shocking and horrific story, especially to our modern Western consciences.
Abraham just doesn’t know how it is all going to work out, but he trusts the Lord.
Look at little examples of Abraham’s faith, when he says to his servants, ‘We will worship and then WE (ie both himself and Isaac) will come back to you’ (verse 5). And then when he says to Isaac, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering’ (verse 8).
And Abraham is prepared to go to the bitter end, taking the knife (v.10), before the angel of the Lord steps in (verse 11).
As it says in the New Testament, ‘Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.’
(Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 19).
But as a good number of you will know, this episode points ahead to another sacrifice of a well-loved Son in a similar place, the death of Jesus on Calvary, and we will look at some of the links in more detail tomorrow.
I will send the links for this Sunday’s service in a separate email as I usually do. We will be thinking again about Abraham in a slightly different way, through the eyes of the New Testament. And also to remind you we will be taking communion together in a virtual way, so bring your own bread and wine/juice.
Praying through our extended church address list, we remember today those who come regularly to Here 4 You which is currently closed, who haven’t been mentioned previously,
– Mikala & family
Please could you also pray for a friend of ours, Mark Wade, whose wife Jane is Minister of Abington Avenue URC, who is in intensive care with Coronavirus.
May each of us know the Lord’s presence with us today by His Spirit,