Whisper Day 20: Abraham and Isaac

The Angel Prevents the Sacrifice of Isaac by Rembrandt van Rijn

The Power of a Whisper Reading Plan
Day 20 Reading:
Genesis 22:1-19

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” – Genesis 22:1 (NRSV)

Observation
This story is sometimes referred to as the sacrifice of Isaac; in other places it is called the sacrifice of Abraham. It is one of the most powerful and disturbing stories in all scripture. God instructs Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his long awaited child of promise. Isaac was to be the first of a great nation; of countless descendants. “Like the sand on the shore…like the stars in the sky… a blessing to the nations” God said. How would this happen if Isaac was dead? Abraham does not seem to question. He moves forward with purpose, obedient, full of faith and resolve.

Isaac asks about the offering for worship, and Abraham replies, “God will supply the lamb.” (verse 8.) Is his voice strong and confident or does it crack and catch with emotion? Does Abraham wonder if Isaac is the lamb God has provided? We do not know. What else was said? Again we do not know. The two fall silent as the altar is built, Isaac is bound and laid upon the wood.

Rembrandt’s portrayal of the climactic moment is especially poignant. Abraham’s one hand exposing the neck of his beautiful, innocent teenager, wearing only the clothing of an infant; the look of surprise on Abraham’s face as the angel grabs his other hand, releasing the knife. Abraham has passed God’s awe-full test. Abraham proves his devotion to God surpasses all else in his life.

Application
Three times Abraham says, “Here I am.” (verse 1, 7, 11) He is fully present to God and to Isaac; quick to listen and quick to respond. The stress of the situation does not distract him.

Prayer
Mighty God, what will you ask of me?
How will you test me?
In that moment I pray I will be found worthy.
That I will know beyond all doubt the command is from you.
And in that knowing, I will trust you
Hand steady
Mind focused
Ears tuned to your next command
Here I am

Day 21 of the Whisper Reading Plan is set aside for worship and rest.

***********

For more information on the Power of a Whisper campaign or for a copy of this reading plan, click here http://pastorblog.cumcdebary.org/?p=2120

As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here http://www.lifejournal.cc/ or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.

I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you learn to better listen and respond to God’s whispers in your life. – Lisa <><

PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page. http://pastorblog.cumcdebary.org/?page_id=1529

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