Mar5WedMarch 5, 2014
By Joe Smith
God said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” - Genesis 22:12
Put yourself in the coach's shoes (or skates)
Let’s say you’re coaching a team that is struggling though the season. It is obvious to your players, fans, and management that one key ingredient is missing; a pure goal scorer. So, the General Manager comes in one day and explains how he wants this team to be a major success and that he is bringing in a guy who he guarantees will solve the goal drought. This team is going to start winning. Perfect! So, the new goal scorer arrives and gets a couple of practices under his belt. Then, just before his first game the GM comes back and says you are going to release this player. No reason. No explanation. He just tells you to go talk to him and send him home.
Would you trust the GM? Would you question his motives? How could a man tell you that your team (which needs goals to win) will become a goal scoring powerhouse and then tell you to get rid of the only guy who can put the puck in the net?! That just doesn’t make any sense. We often have questions about life similar to these questions about this hockey situation. Sometimes, God does things which just confuse us to no end. The good thing is we are not alone. There was another man who faced similar questions. His name was Abraham.
The Questions of Abraham
Abraham had plenty of reasons to question God’s commands. God had made a promise to Abraham early in his life that he would make a great nation out of him (Genesis 12:2). The only thing was that Abraham was now getting old and had no kids. (And by old, we are talking 100 years old!) How will that work? I don’t think he planned on buying this eventual nation of his. He was an old man running out of options. But, the amazing thing is that God never runs out of options; eventually, God allowed his wife Sarah to give birth to a son, Isaac. This was the promise! This was where this new great nation from Abraham’s line would start. I am sure Abraham was overjoyed to say the least.
Abraham makes a HUGE decision
Then one day God asks Abraham to offer a sacrifice for Him (sacrifices were often made). But this was not going to be a ram or a goat. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his own son! Now let’s back it up just a minute here. God promised Abraham a great nation and a son. He finally blessed Abraham with the promised heir in spite of his old age. Now, God is asking him to remove Isaac permanently. That must have been so confusing and heartbreaking for Abraham. This was his only son with his wife Sarah and they must have loved him so much! He was now asking him to kill the very thing He had promised. Had God changed? Was He angry? Did God not know what He was doing?
Abraham Trusts God Completely
Even in the midst of these questions, Abraham had reached the point where he was ready to do what the Lord asked, but as he brought up his knife God intervened and said: “’Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12). At the last minute, God was there. He provided the answer.
God will sometimes place obstacles in your life that confuse you. Uncertainty, maybe even what you see as a contradiction, but God is the Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He will not lead you astray. Just because we are called to place Him first in our lives doesn’t mean that God will ask you to “kill off” everything else you love in your life. As a Christian you are on a narrow path that few people travel (Matthew 7:13- 14). We must always remember that while a narrow path may be harder to walk this one will take you in the right direction.