Friday, January 9, 2009

The Importance of Character

Focus verses: Genesis 22:1-14

The story of Abraham and Isaac and the journey of sacrifice seems strange in our ears today. We do not indulge in human sacrifice and burnt offering as it was done then. The ultimate test of Abraham's faith in God, this story begs several questions.

First, God's directive is in direct opposition to God's promise. If Isaac dies, how will he father the nation promised to Abraham?

Second, exactly how far does one go in blind obedience? Abraham had no way to know how this trip would end. What made him go to these lengths?

Third, what is Isaac doing all this time? He's following his father, and he submits to being bound and laid on the pyre. What could he have been thinking?

We learn that no matter how contradictory God's directives seem to be, He has the plan in charge and will bring it to fruition. His knowledge is infinite. Ours is not.

And obedience isn't blind when we know the character of the person issuing orders. We need to study the person and character of God to be able to follow through in His strength.

From Isaac we learn that children are led by example, not by lecture or force. Isaac is as unquestioning of his father as Abraham is of God. And when he asks about the lamb for the sacrifice, he is satisfied that God will provide. He doesn't need to know how or when.

Father, God,

Helps us to trust you when human reason would question. Draw us closer to You and help us to understand that whatever is needed, You will provide.
In Jesus' most precious name.

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