And so, we come to Genesis 22. This is one of those chapters that always stops me cold, especially now that I’m a mom. I always wonder what went through Abraham’s head when God said, “Hey, that son I promised you? Give him back. Violently, even.” It’s one of those things I don’t want to think about, to be honest, what I would have done in his shoes. But the thing that got me this week was something about Abraham… and about Isaac.
Genesis 22:3a (GW) Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey.
Now, I know as close to nothing about the original language of this text as you can know. That’s to say, the original verb tenses and all aren’t something I know. But it looks to me like, in verse 2, God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac… but He didn’t say when. (Now, maybe He did in the original writing. I have no idea.) Whether he did or didn’t is probably a moot point. We don’t know how much Abraham tossed and turned that night, but we do know this… he got up the very next morning and obeyed. He didn’t wait a week or so to see if God changed His mind. He didn’t pull a Jonah and run in the opposite direction. There’s not even a record of him trying to bargain with God like he did when it came to Sodom and Gomorrah. He just got up and obeyed. Immediately.
No wonder he’s a fixture in Hebrews 11. No wonder he’s called faithful. I mean, God told him to sacrifice the Child of Promise. And he didn’t hesitate. He believed what God had told him would happen from the start. God said Isaac would make him the father of a great nation, so God must know what He was doing.
Want the other thing that gets me? Nowhere in this chapter does it indicate Isaac fought back. True, Abraham tied him, but we don’t know the why’s of that. What in the world was going through both of their minds? Because, also nowhere, do we ever see Isaac bitterly scream at his father, “Dude! You tried to kill me!” No therapy. No tell-all book. No appearance on Dr. Phil. Yeah, none of those were around back then, but you know what I mean. Clearly, there was some heavy duty God trusting happening here.
And I’m so, so far beneath them when it comes to that kind of faith and trust. I have such a long way to go. Abraham has that Job faith that I’ve talked about before. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15a KJV).
So, what about Genesis 22 speaks to you?