Think about This for the Lord will give you Understanding in Everything

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.”
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  1. #1 by Jason on November 22, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Pastor Brian,

    Thanks for this reminder.

    I find it important to remind my college students in my intro theology course to not take the drama of the Bible for granted. I think we all tend to read it thinking “yeah, I have heard all this before”. When we do that we fail to see the glories of this grand narrative that you point out above. Thanks

    Jason Oakes

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