Abraham’s Tipping Point
(This was written back in March of 2012…thought this a good reminder for today)
“After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” Gen 22:1-3 (ESV)
I recently spent a Saturday in Allentown, Pa. I was attending a conference titled, Christian Life and Ministry or C.L.A.M. for short. It is sponsored by the Penn-Jersey Wesleyan Church District and they have this conference for church teachers, preachers and group leaders. The keynote speaker, Dr. Karl Eastlack, preached a really cool message at the end of the event. (Just for the record, he also preach an equally really cool opening message.) He starts off with all of us snapping our fingers and singing “AMEN” and when we finish he warns us to watch how we say it as by saying it means we come into an agreement.
Dr. Eastlack has us open our Bibles to chapter 22 in Genesis where we find the story of God instructing Abraham to offer up Isaac to Him. He goes on to say that at 100 years old God has something strange yet awesome in store for Abraham. We can also notice that nowhere in the passage does Abraham say anything to Sarah, ever. The key verse to take note here is verse five, “Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” The key is “come again with you”…what faith Abraham demonstrates. This is after a three day journey, enough time to back out of Gods command. Oh by the way, Abraham has also said nothing to Isaac.
Dr. Eastlack then takes us to verses 10-12 (please look that up) and it is what is said by God in verse 12 that we all understand that an AMEN is due! It is at this very point where God has made known that Abraham fears Him. Now there are three things to pull out of Abraham’s tipping point. The first is that there is access without condition. In Genesis 22:1 and 22:11 Abraham says “Here I am!” Whereas in Genesis 3:9 we read, “Where are you?” Do you have unfettered access or are you in the spiritual dark? The second thing is there is trust without information. Abraham was given no details. Good thing he wasn’t a control freak or a daily planner, huh?
As for the third thing we can pull out of this story is that there is obedience without delay. When we look at verse three, “So Abraham rose early in the morning” notice there is no sleeping in to think this over. When we look at verse ten, “Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.” There was no moment of debate or hesitation. Just think about how much easier things may have been for King Saul back there in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 if he just did as he was told to do. Think about how things may have been different if Mary hadn’t said “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” This is the part where you say AMEN!!
I, myself, have had issues with this blind obedience stuff in the past. And as time as gone by it has gotten a bit easier but it still is uncomfortable until I have gone all the way through. I was reminded of that on a Saturday afternoon in Allentown, PA. But how about you? How far are you willing to go for your church, community or even God Himself? Will you let Him know you are with Him by just saying, “Here I am!” Or do you find yourself hiding in The Garden with nothing but a fig leaf to keep you warm when out of nowhere you hear, ‘Where are you?” Hmm…now can you say amen? By the way, fig leaves aren’t very fashionable these days…just sayin’. – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “So the final test of love is obedience. Not sweet emotions, not willingness to sacrifice, not zeal, but obedience to the commandments of Christ.” —A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, The Rock of my salvation! 2 Samuel 22:47