Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mar 17: Genesis 22

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 22. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • This chapter is really tough to read, especially if you’re a parent.
  • God finally gives Abraham the son he’s been promising him... and then tells Abraham to kill his own son as a way of worshipping God. Of course, this must have been a very difficult order for Abraham to obey, but maybe Abraham finally grasped that God would always take care of him.
  • On a side note, sacrificing your children as a way of “worship” to a “god” was a common practice for all the people who lived around Abraham. In fact, archaeological digs have discovered ancient temples to gods like Baal that contained the remains of hundreds of small children who were sacrificed.
  • Even though he was confused, Abraham obeyed God immediately. Abraham was even asked by his son where the animal to sacrifice was, and Abraham said God would take care of it. Then God miraculously provides an alternate sacrifice so that Isaac could be saved.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Perhaps God had Abraham go through this “test” to show Abraham that the God he served was not like the other so-called gods his neighbors worshipped. God showed Abraham that he didn’t want human sacrifice; he wanted faith in him. God was not only strengthening Abraham’s faith; God was also set himself apart from other false gods.
  • This is an insane chapter. Did you notice that Isaac was old enough to carry the wood for the ceremony? This makes it even crazier to me that Abraham had raised Isaac for years and built a bond with his son, but was willing to kill him if that was what God wanted. Surely Abraham was confused, but he was hoping against hope that God would come through in a way he couldn’t see. Abraham had to be thinking this was crazy -- and surely everyone else would think he was -- but Abraham had faith.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Have you ever experienced a time where you thought God wanted you to do something you thought didn’t make sense? Maybe you're going through a time like that now. How did you handle it? Did you or will you walk in faith that God will come through for you in the end? Faith isn’t something we get, it’s a choice we make. We choose to have faith in a loving God. Will you choose faith in God today?