Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Daily Devotion for Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today's Scripture Reading: Genesis 22:1-19

Key verse for today: Genesis 22:14a, "Abraham named that place, 'The Lord sees.'"

How can I be so wrong when I'm so sure I am right?

Sometimes our world turns upside down.  What we think is true is really false.  This happened to me at the end of my freshman year in college.  My long-time girlfriend dumped me and I never saw it coming.  I became Lane Meyer.

There's something unsettling about the blindside.  I think we feel more foolish because reality comes crashing around us and we were out of touch.  But sometimes, we can assume the worst and it turns out to be better than we expected.

Abraham feels that God is calling him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  Abraham is big on faithfulness and follow-through.  This is not his first conversation with God either.
Sacrifice of Isaac
Pedro Orrente, 1616

As we read this story today, it seems kind of horrifying.  People of no faith ask questions like, "What kind of God would ask you to do this even if God planned to stop you?"  One of the pat answers seems to be, "Well, we can't understand how God thinks."
While this is technically true, I do think we can safely say that God doesn't require child sacrifice.

With respect to Highway 61 Revisited, was Abraham mistaken?  Could he have been wrong?  Did he truly believe that God was asking this of him because that's what all the neighboring religions were doing?

Abraham's smug neighbor: "Yeah, if you had real faith, you would sacrifice your most beloved possession."

What if God is asking Abraham for his son but in a different way?  What if God is asking him to devote his son to God?  To give his life to God?

What if Abraham finally heard God clearly - only after he raised the knife?

Maybe the true faithfulness came when Abraham put down the knife and realized that God will still bless him while letting him keep his son.

Of course, I could be wrong...

Breath Prayer for today: Sovereign God, take my life and let it be...


  1. This is a hard passage to take in at times for reasons you pointed out. I really do appreciate the insight you bring to this. Epic reference to Better Off Dead. Thanks for doing the Lenten Devotions.

  2. Thanks Jana - the gift of this passage is that you can interpret it in so many ways. The main question for me becomes how do we resolve God is Love from John's letters with this passage that tests Abraham's faith in such a morbid way. The answer for me comes in that we're not tested in this way today because it is not a temptation for our culture. None of my friends or neighbors are engaging in child sacrifice.