Extreme faith…

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Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, 18 of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” 19 He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

When some people read this narrative they are struck by the brutality of the command of God – asking Abraham to put his only son Isaac to death. They condemn God for asking and Abraham for complying. I agree it’s an extreme request, but I also think it’s important to interpret the story in the spirit in which it was given. Abraham’s willingness to follow God’s command is offered as a profound act of “faith”, which is the theme of this section of the book of Hebrews. And of course, while God ultimately spared Isaac, God did not spare his own son Jesus from suffering and death.

Heavenly Father, I hope you never ask me to do anything as extreme as you asked Abraham, but I also pray you will give me grace to obey even when I don’t understand. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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