Saturday, January 02, 2010

Not a moment too soon....

In the New Testament there are 290 references to the love of God, 290 times when God had declared His love for man. But in the same chapters and the same verses there are more than 1,300 references to the atonement, 1300 assurances that salvation can be had through the blood of Christ. —G. Franklin Allee

Abraham was a man tested by God. Over an over God came to him & asked him to go here or there, do this or that, say something or keep quiet. Abraham listened to God. He understood when it was truly God that was speaking and not just his own thoughts or the thoughts of those around him. Abraham wasn't perfect however; he pushed forward with the said blessings of God by having a child with someone other than his wife, thinking that this child would be "the one" that God had promised. While God still protected this child, Abraham had clearly not waited for God to fulfill his promise.
After a little while, God did come through for Abraham & Sarah, in blessing them with a son Isaac. In their old age, Sarah & Abraham love their little boy fiercely. They would have never guessed that this little boy would become the center of yet one more test of faith for them.

God spoke to Abraham and told him to sacrifice his son Isaac. If this was a message to me, about my own son, I probably would have hidden Isaac & tried to keep him safe...but Abraham didn't do this. The Bible says that he immediately went out & made preparations for an altar & the three day trek to the mountain of the Lord. On the way up the mountain, Isaac humbly asked his father where the lamb for the alter was, to which Abraham responded that "the Lord will provide the lamb himself."

I expect that he had great pain while saying this, trusting that God knew how the situation would end, and all the time Abraham following without understanding.
It doesn't say that Isaac struggled while his father tied him up & placed the boy on the alter. This surprises me, and says a lot to the relationship of trust Isaac had with his father! Just as Abraham raised his armed hand to slay his only son, the Angel of the Lord came to him & told Abraham that God had seen how he feared the Lord. Just then, Abraham noticed a Ram that was stuck in the bushes. God himself had provided the sacrifice of atonement.

...Faith obeys completely the Word of God. --Abraham trusted in God's voice, and acted immediately.
...Faith surrenders the best to God, holding nothing back. --He surrendered his only son, the one he had prayed fervently for and had seen God provide.
...Faith waits on the Lord to provide all one’s needs. --Abraham knew that God would provide for him, whether through this son as a sacrifice or with something else. God had promised to make him a father of many nations, and Abraham trusted that whether it would be through Isaac or someone else, that God would bring that to pass.

"A true worshiper of God holds nothing back from God but obediently gives Him what He asks, trusting that He will provide. The key idea of the entire passage is summarized in the name Abraham gave to the place: Yahweh Yir’eh, The Lord will provide."

It is hard to put your all onto the alter. To open up yourself completely to our God, though we should know deep down that He WILL provide. It is still difficult sometimes. A true test of God will ask you to do something that doesn't make sense. It forces you to rely solely on him and not on your own power. I struggle to do this some days....and who am I kidding....most days I struggle with this. Simply in knowing that God will provide for me in EVERYTHING I need.

It is then that I remember that God has already provided a sacrifice for me, and that He has already provided all that I need. He has given me a new life, a clean slate, the forgiveness for my sins through the atonement His one and only son paid for me on the cross. Through trusting in Him, and even before I trusted in Him, He had given me and all of us forgiveness.

I loved this thought I read while studying about God as our sacrificial Lamb...."
When does God meet our needs? Just when we have the need and not a minute before. When you bring your requests to the throne of grace, God answers with mercy and grace “in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Sometimes it looks like God waits until the last minute to send help, but that is only from our human point of view. God is never late."

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Love the Lord, Your God, with ALL your heart, ALL your mind, ALL your soul, and ALL your strength...and love your neighbors as your self. This is asking a lot of us...but we are commanded to follow him - and you are so right -He will provide. He is always faithful to his children. We should give Him all we have - as it all comes back to Him in the eternal. You bless me.

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