What God is this?

I want to talk about this passage. 

Gen 22:2  “Take your son,” God said, “your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah. There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but this is a terrible cruel thing to ask of a person.  I am a parent and I would probably start to rebuke the devil for the ghastly thoughts or just told God “no”.  In Isaac was the promise of God, for crying out loud!  God also knew that Abraham loved Isaac.  I think Abraham went through hell.  I’ve often heard atheists say that if God is that cruel, they do not want to serve such a God.  I’ve also heard people say that God wanted to test Abraham’s obedience and faith.  Others say that Abraham started to love Isaac more than God and it was a way to bring Abraham back to earth.

I believe there is a different reason.

One thing that we perhaps forget is that child sacrifice was not an uncommon occurrence in the times of Abraham.  People regularly offered their children to please the gods.  Now God comes and asks Abraham to offer up his only son.  So far God is on par with all the other gods, right?  Abraham must have been wrenching and wondering if this god is worth it.  Remember, he did not know God that well.  Anyway, Abraham comes to the place and time when he has to offer up his son.  And then…this God stops him.  This God provides a sacrifice in the place of the child.  This God does not allow people to sacrifice their children.  This God is different from all the other gods men worship.  This God is NOT what we expect.  He is truly Someone Else, or as He put it, “I Am”.  Abraham must have been going “Hu?” a lot. 

Now I don’t know about you, but this is a God that keeps us off balance.  Around every corner and turn He waits to be discovered.  We expect one thing, He gives us another.  All the time the “god we want”, is replaced by “the God that Is.”

What God is this?

This is a God that CAN be known.  He CAN be loved.  This God KNOWS us very well.  Perhaps Paul said it best. 

1Cor 13:12.  We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.  But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!  We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us!(Message). 

I think Abraham went away from the place of sacrifice, astonished, bewildered and with a song in his heart.  This God is truly worth knowing, don’t you think?

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6 thoughts on “What God is this?

  1. That is beautiful bro. I believe it might just be fair to say, we could extent that to ALL the things that are common in our days, so he can show is Himself as the sacrifice.

    What about, let us take our security, our hope etc.

    Do I make any sense?

  2. I was telling my daughter this just the other day. She is interested in all the other religions. I told her that the one difference in Jesus than all the others is that just like in Abrahams life, our God provides the sacrifice and does not expect us to make it for ourselves. All other religions have a god that demands more and more. In Abraham’s day the ultimate sacrifice was to give your children. God said, “I’m not like them.”
    “I will provide.” And then Jesus came to show us exactly what our God was like.

    Why would anyone want to worship another?

  3. Hi Christo,
    yes, you make sense…at least to me 🙂 That is why we good people struggle to understand that Whom He is, is enough. I hope I make sense to you 🙂

    Hi Barb,
    Yes, Jesus did everything that needed to be done. That is why faith in Jesus is the easiest thing to do and the hardest. We want to impress through effort and get Him on our side, but He alread stepped over to our side and now we have nothing to impress Him with. That is why it is so easy to love Him and at the same time find it difficult to “just” love Him.

  4. “By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.”

    I have often struggled with a God who would ask this (even though He didn’t require it in the end). It seems so cruel. I like what you brought out – that it was a way to dramatically demonstrate that He was not like other gods. The above passage from Hebrews sheds some light on Abraham’s thought processes – such a huge trust in God. Throughout history, God has asked his people to do seemingly crazy – often even law-violating things. He told Hosea to marry a prostitute. He told Isaiah to run around naked (probably in his underwear 😉 ) (Isaiah 20:3)

    Hmm.. and He will still ask the seemingly crazy hard things. We only know Him because He reveals Himself to us – and we can only know what He shows us. I guess that is why a relationship with Him is so much more important than just knowing some facts that have been written about Him 😉

  5. Hi, I am glad you put it in this perspective, Abmo, real comforting. And I am glad that it just shows that God is not a fixation of my imagination. Great post.

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