Saturday, April 6, 2013

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 if you’re a parent. It may even be difficult to appreciate fully if you don’t have children. 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. This must have (obviously) been a very difficult order to obey for Abraham but it appears that Abraham finally grasped that God would always take care of him.
  • Confusing as it was, 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 Isaac could be saved. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • I know this sounds barbaric, but 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, there are archaeological digs that revealed temples to gods like Baal that had hundreds of remains of small children who were sacrificed there. 
  • Did you notice that Isaac was old enough to be able to carry the wood for the ceremony? This means Abraham had invested several years into his child's life. 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 thought he was -- but Abraham had faith.
  • God may have done this 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. God was not only strengthening Abraham’s faith; God was also setting himself apart from false gods.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Have you ever had a time where you thought God wanted you to do something you thought didn’t make sense? Are you going through a time like that now? How did you handle (or are you handling) 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?