I'm very new to blogging. And I rarely keep a journal or diary, so this entry may very well be a disjointed, rambling struggle as I attempt to gain calrity on a weird portion of text. I say weird because the idea of human sacrifice is so bizzarre to me. I think my understanding of human sacrifice is depicted best by the sacrifice scenes in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom.
I'm not sure I've ever been comfortable with this text. Abraham, being asked to sacrifice his son Isaac, is so completely obedient! As well as making a unilatteral decision. Why doesn't Abe sit down with Sarah and say "here's the deal, we've been blessed with this son in our old age, and now we have to give him back."
So why does God ask this of Abraham? What is the point? I think a simple answer is that God was testing Abraham's faith. Maybe God wanted to see just how far Abraham could be pushed. Maybe Abraham needed to be pushed to this point to be made aware of his own devotion to God.
Another thought deals with human (especially child) sacrifice in general. It's well known that child sacrifice was a common practice among pre-Hebrew peoples, and was still happening in the area during Abraham's time. Maybe God, who from our earliest understandings has been about transformation, is using Abraham and Isaac to illustrate a change in behavior. No longer was sacrifice of this nature desired, which previewed what later prophets would utter, God no longer wants burnt sacrifice, but devotion and faith.
So does Abrahams obedience leads to understanding God's provision? Does our following of the way of Christ lead us to understanding how we can be providers for others?
Like a typical teenage boy, I ignored everything good that my parents did for me and focused on the things that were "bad" for me, like cleaning my room and helping with household chores. I always thought they had it out for me. (maybe that's how Isaac was feeling when he was being tied up!)
Now as a father of a 15 month old, I see so much of my parents in the way i try to provide for my child. Maybe i understand their provision for me better now that i am a parent too. Maybe as followers of Jesus we understand God's provision better when we provide for others, and they in turn understand God's loving provision when they are providers: "Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help." Matt. 10:40 -The Message