Tuesday, August 18, 2009

could you make the choice?

"And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him-whom Sarah bore to him-Isaac." Genesis 21:1-3 Here we can see that God gave Abraham and Sarah a son. They were old, and not expecting a son at this time in their lives, but they took the blessing that God had promised with gladness. As we can read in Genesis 22 Abraham was called to make a sacrifice, not just any, but his son. "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said,'Here I am.' Then He said,'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Genesis 22:1-2 Can you just imagine that moment in time? I can picture Abraham wanting time to stand still. I can not picture myself there, hearing God and thinking What? you want me to do what? The only son that Abraham and Sarah had, and it was a blessing at an old age, now God wants to offer Isaac as a sacrifice? I cannot fathom the pain, the feelings that Abraham was facing at that moment. But Abraham trusted God, he followed Him and answered Him. I am not so sure I could have done that step of faith. I can only hope my faith is as great. For God to ask me to sacrifice my son, the son my husband and I bore, the son we almost lost in birth would be a decision I could not face. My love for my son is so great and runs deep, just as Sarah and Abraham loved their son. "So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Issac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Issac spke to Abraham his father and said,'My father!' And he said,'Here I am, my son' Then he said,'look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?' And Abraham said,'My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.' So the two of them went together." Genesis 22:6-8 Can you imagine the thoughts of Issac? Can you see the pain, feel the questions? Abraham had a faith that was strong, and he was showing that faith by his actions. He was doing all that God had asked. Could you do it, could you follow every step as Abraham did? I am not sure that I could. I could not give my son. But this story does not end in sadness, it ends in praise. "And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said,'Abraham, Abraham!' So he said,here I am'. And He said,'Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.' Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son." Genesis 22:10-13 God sent a ram to take his place. Can you see the face of Abraham, can you see the tears of praise, and thanksgiving. As I can see this the tears are flowing. I cannot imagine what this father and son shared that day, but in Abrahams faith God listened and He honored Abraham for his faith. Just as we see this picture, there was another Father who did give His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. A Father who loved His Son, gave Him for the world, those like you and me. God loved us so much He knew just what He had to do. This is why He had to come as man. So we could understand, so we could picture us, our son, his death for all mankind. This Old Testament story of faith leads to the New Testament story of glory. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not parish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved? John 3:16-17 Can you see these pictures of love? Can you see what God did for us? We owe Him our lives for saving us, for giving His Son to die upon a cross that would forever change the world. Let your heart be open, let your tears fall for the Savior that took our cross and bore our pain. This story too ends with a praise. There was an empty tomb, just as Jesus died, He too is in heaven making a way for us, and coming again for those who love Him. "Therfore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in hte likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we shouldno longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; But eh life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:4-11


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