Genesis 22:3

Posted on November 11, 2009

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Genesis 22:3

This is, to me, one of the most famous stories in the Old Testament. If the Bible had a greatest hits mix tape, this would no doubt on it.

Genesis 22 is the story of God telling Abraham to take his long-awaited son Isaac to the mountain and sacrifice him. More specifically make Isaac a "burnt offering."

And finally, after 22 chapters, I think I understand something in the Bible.

In the story, just before he went to bed the night before, Abraham got a nudge from God. A nudge that said (roughly translated) "take the son that you have waited for, prayed for, longed for, sinned for, lied for, everything for….now take that son and go to the mountain and kill him. For me."

(this is not the part I understand.)

So Abraham, with that message hanging heavy on his heart, tucks his son in, kisses his wife goodnight, watches a cycle or two of SportsCenter on ESPN BC, and lays down to sleep.

And he tosses and turns and flips and flops thinking "should I? Shouldn't I? This is crazy. What is He asking of me? Was it really God? Maybe it was some bad leftover goat stew talking? But Isaac….we have waited so long…what am I going to tell Sarah?"

And he bolts upright "WHAT AM I GOING TO TELL SARAH?"

Then he starts thinking it through in his head. "So Sarah…you look lovely this morning. That goat stew last night, masterful. Hey we don;t have anything planned today so I was thinking maybe Isaac and I would go for a walk…you know father and son, up the mountain…and then maybe…hey did I tell you God spoke to me again last night. What did he say? Yeah well, did I tell you how lovely you looked this morning….Yeah well He said…uhm something about sacrificing Isaac as a burnt offering….Sarah?…Sarah, please put that frying pan down…"

(I don't understand this part either.)

I think Abraham played all this out in his head and decided that he just couldn;t have that conversation with Sarah.

(and so now we get to the part I understand,)

"Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey."

As in BEFORE SARAH GOT UP, Abraham got up, grabbed his son ("shhh….don't you DARE wake your mother.) and they headed out.

This I can understand.

It may not have been the right thing to do (the whole "you can trust God with everything….trust Him with how your wife will respond.) I get that and at many levels I think it is exactly right.

But in this situation, given all that they have been through to have a child, Abraham was trying to protect his wife's heart.

And I think that is ok.

And i understand that.

And I am finally glad that there is something that I think I understand in the Bible.

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