One of the most troubling stories in the Bible is found in the 22nd Chapter of Genesis. We are often told that this is a ‘test’ of Abraham’s faith, but the details are disturbing to say the least. Perhaps today we are still challenged to make unwholesome sacrifices, but not by God. Instead we allow the other voices and forces around us to demand too much of our time, our families, and our devotion. We, like Abraham, need to learn to depend on the promise that God will provide.
Worship this week: Saturday — 5:00 p.m. in Chapel
Sunday — 8:30 a.m. — Traditional Worship
9:30 a.m. — Sunday School
10:30 a.m. — Contemporary Worship
September 15, 2013
Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14
Key Verses: Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’” Genesis 22:13b-14
Time: around 1850 BCE
Background: God made a covenant with Abraham that would last for generations. God’s covenant was a blessing, that Abraham and his offspring would be a blessing to others. Abraham’s side of the covenant was fulfilled when he and his household were circumcised. This covenant was established before God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. God’s fulfilling of the covenant was not contingent on Abraham’s willingness to carry out the morbid request.
Scripture tells us the request was a test of Abraham. We will never know what may have happened to the covenant or the relationship if Abraham had denied God’s request. But Abraham proved he was willing to carry it out. Abraham was faithful and proved to God that he could be trusted with the blessing.
Community: To those who have not been brought up with the tradition of scripture (and even to those who have), this story can appear abominable. How might you tell this story to those who have not heard? What does this story tell us about God? What does it tell us about ourselves?
At Home: Where are there weaknesses in your faith life? What prevents you from trusting God fully? What could you do this week to make a change?
Read This Week:
Sunday, Sep 15, Binding of Isaac, Genesis 21:1-3; 22:1-14
Monday, Sep 16, Choosing of Rebekah, Genesis 24:1-27
Tuesday, Sep 17, Choosing of Rebekah, Genesis 24:28-49
Wednesday, Sep 18, Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, Genesis 24:50-67
Thursday. Sep 19, The Birth of Esau and Jacob, Genesis 25:19-28
Friday, Sep 20, Esau Sells His Birthright, Genesis 25:29-34
Saturday. Sep 21, Isaac and Abimelech, Genesis 26:1-33
Next Week: Sunday, Sep 22, Jacob’s Dream, Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17