Sunday, November 16, 2008

Faith Tested

Yesterday I was completely drawn to a story in Genesis 22. The one which so vividly describes Abraham taking his son, Isaac, up a mountain only to offer him up as a sacrifice of obedience to God. Abraham sets out to obey this command without question. We all know the ending, the Lord stops Abraham at the last possible moment and he turns to discover a ram in the nearby bushes, a provision sent from God.

Reading this story in the past, I had the tendency to romanticize it a little and somehow think of it as a fairy tale. A story predetermined to have a happy ending. However, reading this time around I really put my focus on Abraham. I tried to imagine how he might have felt that day. God had given him such a shocking task and Abraham didn't know the ending. It didn't cross his mind as he climbed up the mountain with his son, whom he would put on an alter for sacrifice, that he would walk victoriously down that same mountain with Isaac still by his side. He had no clue that his God would intervene and provide another sacrifice at the last minute so his precious son would be spared. He didn't understand why all this had to be done, but he did it anyway. This, to me, is the most important part of the story. He didn't just tell God he would do it. He didn't merely walk up the hill and then expect God to come to his rescue. He did it all. He built that alter and bound his son on top. He raised his knife into the air in a moment of complete and utter submission and it was then, and only then, God could show up in a big way. In that moment God spoke to Abraham.

Genesis 22:17-18~ I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

To think, Abraham might have totally missed out on the fullness of God's blessings had he not shown such faith and obedience in being open to God's instruction. Sometimes it is not about what the outcome could be, but about our steadfast decision to take a step into an uncomfortable direction we know we are being called. It is about hearing God and climbing that mountain with no clue of how, or even if, the Lord may show up. It is about that moment with our hand raised in the air that he will come to our rescue and provide with us with His sweet blessings in a way only He can.

What is it that God may be asking you to carry up the mountain? What big step is He asking you to take? Know that He will intervene and in that moment of your faith being tested, you are surely being blessed.


♥char said...

Rebekah~ So AWESOME is the LORD!! I was speaking with my mentor last week about God's timing!! And we talked about this exact situation. We talked about how we try to control our destiny and how when we let go and fully trust in God he gives us exactly what we need. More specifically we talked about God's timing compared with our timing and as it relates to this situation...that if Abraham had hesitated even ten minutes that perhaps he would not have found the ram in the thicket to sacrifice instead of Isaac. Reading your blog was exactly what I needed to remind me of that this morning!!! You are such an inspiration and I enjoy all of your blogs!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Runningmama said...

I think I try to carry more than He asks me to up the mountain. It makes me crazy.

I would like to trust Him with peace, believing He has our backs.

Love it. WOOO!!