This week we have settled in on the story of this family. Abraham, Sarah, and their son Isaac. Despite Abraham trying to tell pharaoh’s that his wife was his cousin. Despite Sarah telling Abraham to sleep with her servant. Despite Isaac almost being sacrificed. God used this family to bring hope, in the flesh, into our world.
The thing that keeps the narrative moving is faith.
Abraham may have thought he was helping God’s plan along by lying to Pharaoh. His intent was to spare his life and the life of his wife. Sarah had heard the promises of God. She knew God promised she would have a child. Yet when she saw no children were in her arms, she must have assumed she needed to do more.
Have you ever had a time like this? When you know the promises of God, yet you can’t see them. We rationalize that we must need to do more. We must need to intervene so the promises of God can come to fruition.
The fact is we don’t need to do anything. There are things we get to do. God will use us. We do not need to fret over a plan to make his promises come about. The story of Isaac shows us this in a difficult to wrap our heads around narrative.
Abraham was told by God that Isaac was the promised one. Abraham assumed his child would be the one that needed to be sacrificed. After all God had promised and here was his son.
If Abraham sacrificed his son, the result would be death.
When God sacrificed His son, it brought life for us.
As we read the account of Isaac and Moses it looks hopeless. It appears Abraham will lose his only son. Yet Abraham still trudges up the mountain. He has faith not in his own actions, but he has a faith that has been given to him by God. He has a faith that has been sustained and worked on by God. He knows God has the power to bring his son back to life. He knows God is not a God of death but a God that brings new life.
If the Lord had not intervened the only thing Abraham would have caused is death. Isaac would have been dead. Yet God provided a ram and eventually God provided his own son as a substitute for Isaac.
When we try to intervene in God’s plan all we cause is death. When God uses us he brings life even when it looks like what he is bringing is death. Abraham would not have been able to revive his son, but God did. As the writer of the new testament says “Abraham received his son back from the dead in a matter of speaking” (Hebrews 11:19)
Our actions bring death. The work of God bring life.