Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19
Key verses: (12-14) He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy 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.” 13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Reflection: Today we encounter God testing Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac. There is so much to unpack about this narrative but this moment in verses 12 through 14 show us that the testing is over. Isaac will live. God will provide the ram for the sacrifice. While I find Abraham’s faith in this text to be extraordinary, I am reminded that God too has a lot at stake in this encounter. God has already promised that Abraham will have more ancestors than stars, so for Isaac to die before he has any offspring presents a dilemma for God as well. God must have trusted Abraham in order to test him in this way, just as Abraham must have deeply trusted God to obey this request so fervently.
Before this exchange, Abraham and God have had a lot of time together. Their relationship has encountered many things, including Abraham asking God to spare the people of Sodom. Abraham understands that God takes human desires into account before acting. Abraham trusts that God will provide, and indeed God does.
As with any relationship, there will be times when it will be put to the test. Sometimes the tests will be more severe, sometimes they will be minor, but it is our relationship with the other that determines how we respond. Will we trust the test? Will we turn from it? When these questions are applied to our everyday relationships we might have one answer, but we might also consider them in relationship to God. How might we show God that we are faithful? Can we show God our trust? Do we? As you continue your day, I hope you will consider these questions, looking for ways that God might be asking you to respond faithfully. It just might surprise you.
Prayer: Faithful God, you provide for us even when we fail to trust you. Help us to be faithful in our journey today, responding in love and justice as you showed us through your son, Jesus. Amen.
Author: Savannah Demuynck
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].