Monday, April 11, 2011

Question of the week

Yesterday in church, the sermon text was Genesis 22:1-19, in which God tests Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac. 

When we were studying for the sermon this week, Jay Strother sent me this note, which a member had found in his father-in-law's old Sunday School lesson notes:

“This was more that the sacrifice of his son.  This was the sacrifice of himself and his hope for the future — but until he was able to lay everything he had on the altar, God could not use him — so it is with us.”

I've been pondering this statement.  Do you think it is true?


  1. Geez. It has to be. He didn't ask Abraham for money or cattle, which he had. He didn't ask him for gold or to give up his favorite hobby. He asked for his son, the one thing Abraham saw all of God's promises tied to.

    Abraham had to answer the question "who will actually fulfill all of these promises - God or Isaac?" Honestly, the decision to agree to sacrifice Isaac meant Abraham had to answer a lot of questions about who he thought God was, what He was like. Those answers say a lot about where his faith lay.

  2. True. My struggle is with the last half of the statement:"until he was able to lay everything on the altar, God could not use him—so it is with us."

    God cannot use us until we are able to lay everything on the altar?

    This disturbs me because I know I have not laid everything on the altar. I do not surrender all. I surrender some things. I don't surrender other things.

    And sometimes, I take back what I've surrendered.

    So has God not been able to use me?

  3. Interesting that Abraham changed the course of his life despite not knowing God. In Hebrews, we read that we are his descendants because as with him, we choose to believe in and trust the Invisible God, the One we cannot see with these earthly eyes but who has been revealed by Christ.

    I am more of the opinion these days that God doesn't really need us to do anything. To think that we can "do" something to move God's hand belittles His Sovereignty in my view.

    ALL that has/d to be done, was done by our precious Christ, on the cross. Thus His final words, "It is finished".

    Abraham didn't have Christ's finished Cross work to depend on as we do.

    The surrendered Christ has His life in me! "For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17) Its not up to us! How blessed are we?

    Love you lots, sweet friend

  4. Sorry, not Hebrews but Galatians 3 ....