Genesis 22: 9-12
9"When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11. At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!
"Yes," Abraham replied, "Here I am!"
12. "Don't lay a hand on the boy!" the angel said. "Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son."
My head tells me to leave out the part about Abraham picking up a knife to kill his son. My cultural sensitivity says, don't get that graphic, don't think about the knife, that's really harsh.
But then I come back to the reality that God's call isn't all that sanitary. He is not that interested in whether or not it is icky, or hard, or something that I've simply coddled for far too long. He gets to the depths of my soul, opens me up and questions my loyalty.
He really wants to know if I am willing to cut out those things I love, those things I hate to love, and even those people, places, positions, and powers that I put as more important to me than He himself. So He gets pretty graphic in this message.
What is the purpose for His getting so pointed? Why did He call Abraham to sacrifice his only son. The son, mind you, that God had promised Abraham would be the lineage for a great nation. I've heard many interpretations for why God might have done this.
From the outside I look pretty sanitary. I have never been a drinker, never smoked anything in my life, never been a big cusser (I don't claim to never say a curse word - I have been known to say them and I even have a few that are my favorites). But on paper and even in real life, I look pretty tame and 'Sin' free. BUT, those sins that plague me are deep and well-rooted. I am constantly riping out another weed. Some of them hide in the flower bed for awhile.
Do you know what I mean? Those sins that can be covered up by really nice, niceties? These are the sins that no one can see. The anger, the bitterness, the fear. Yes, fear. Fear is the opposite of trust. Thus fear... a topic for another day.
I have seen judgment raise its ugly head while sitting quite innocently at a red light and looking over into the car next to me, seeing a young girl with a really low t-shirt on and immediately making a judgement. It shocked me. But it popped out and I was disgusted with myself. I was almost thankful that this happened in the ear shot of my husband. I had to apologize to both God, my husand, and I swear if that young girl could have been found, I would have apologized to her.
I have committed a few horrible acts of sin. I have confessed these to a few people. But I have done that after confessing them to Adonai and then finally to take them to Jesus. — These are all God of course, but with each character trait of the Father the Word reveals another Name (Adonai,(Lord, Master) Elohim (God), Jehovah Jireh (God, Provider) etc.,and of course Jesus is part of the Trinity: God Father, Son, Holy Spirit — This simply means it took me a while before I was able to receive God's forgiveness for the grievous sin I had committed. For instance, I am a divorced woman that does not believe in divorce. A tough place to stand and serve God. And of course that is not the most grievous.
But God has been so gentle when I have come to Him with my sin. He has opened His arms and reminded me that His purpose in sending His son Jesus was to mend the bridge that was broken between us.
His desire is for me to be a living sacrifice. To come to Him regularly and let Him do a thorough cleansing of my heart. Finding a place alone and saying "Here I am": my car, my office, my red prayer chair. Good grief, Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley even took her apron and threw it over her head against the cries of 10 of the 19 children that she bore. She promised God. So, she in the midst of deep hardship, was loyal and loving in her living sacrifice to God. She cried out, "Here I am."
And the rewards that I have received in my life are innumerable. And the reward that Susanna Wesley received in her life: John and Charles Wesley. And the reward that Abraham received in his life: Isaac living and breathing and carrying on the chosen nation to bring the Messiah. The Savior of the world Jesus.
Read Susanna Wesley's story here: from Joni Erickson Tada's founded group- Joni's Friends
If you have experienced that "Here I am" moment please share in the comments below. It is such an encouragement!
If you haven't, I encourage you to find a place to get alone with God, climb any mountain you must and lay down those loves that have become more important than God.
You are invited to join us at Reading, Reflecting, Bible Community. Join other believers from all walks of life as we read and meditate on His words.
Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?