I remember hearing many of these stories from Genesis when I was a little girl. I was delighted by tales of Adam and Abraham, Noah and Esau. I had mental pictures of gorgeous gardens, beautiful rainbows, and people that looked like Precious Moments figurines. Reading them now as an adult, I find many of them disturbing and perplexing. I don’t understand justice or fairness from God’s perspective. I realize now that the more I learn, the less I know.
One such example is the story of Abraham being asked and willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac. As Genesis 22:2 says, “God said, ‘Please take your son Isaac, your precious child, whom you love. Go to the district called Moriah. Offer Isaac there as a burnt offering on a mountain. I shall show you which mountain.’” Why God would test Abraham in such a way when He is all knowing makes no sense to me. I have a hard time even considering the idea of God testing any of us, but especially in this way. The fair, compassionate, peace loving God I know is incompatible with the heinous act of killing one’s children. My mind begins to wonder….do I even believe something like this actually happened? Do I believe this is a retelling of a literal event? I determine that it doesn’t matter. What matters whether real or metaphorical is the Biblical truth….the God truth of it all.
Here the lesson I take away is what am I willing to give up? Is God so primary in my life that I could separate with it if needed of me or required of me by God? Anything that takes precedence in our lives is an idol. Are we willing to rid our lives of the idols? Is God really first….ahead of stuff, ahead of technology, ahead of our home, ahead of our comfort, ahead of our relationships, ahead of our friendships…..even ahead of our family. Abraham showed that God was before everything.