Psa 100 (1) Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! (2) Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (3) Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (5) For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Reflecting on what we can be thankful for every day of the year. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
It is probably normal for us to pause in confusion, perhaps shock when we read, especially for the first time, Genesis 22:2, “God said to Abraham, “…offer [your son] as a burnt offering.” Perhaps it is helpful after you catch your breath to remember a few things about reading the Bible: 1) the whole thing is meant to be read and reread; 2) verses are not meant to be read in isolation. If we keep these two ideas in mind, our confusion and shock is eased a bit. The chapter itself is helpful: 22:1 – God tested Abraham; 22:8 – Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering”; 22:12 – God said to Abraham, “Now I know that you fear God”; 22:16-18, “because you have done this…I will greatly bless you…all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” The New Testament is also helpful: Hebrews 11:17-19, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Issac,…He considered that God is able to raise even from the dead,”; James 2:21-23 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? (22) You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; (23) and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.” It is helpful to know that Abraham got it. He had plenty of blemishes in his character; but Abraham feared God, he believed God, he trusted God, he hoped in God, and made his choice accordingly. And we are the recipients of the blessings that resulted. So before you go on about how your God would never ask anything like Genesis 22:2, or how the God of the Old Testament is mean and the God of the New Testament is love, read your Bible in the spirit of our father Abraham (fear, belief, trust and hope in God) and in the spirit of 2 Timothy 2:7, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
I am spending this week at home helping my lovely wife recover from surgery. One side benefit of this time is the restarting of a blog I haven’t touched for about 18 months. Not sure all of the reasons for the long hiatus, but hopefully I will be able to continue this time without significant interruption. Stay tuned for a post in the next few days.