One of Nick's Facebook friends is a very outspoken atheist. Since I do not have a personal relationship with him I have no wish to talk to him or really about him except to bring up his "verse of the day".
Recently this man posted some verses of the day intended to make the Bible look foolish and to make God look uncaring. One that struck me was from Genisis 22:2 'Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, who you love-Issac- and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on the mountain I will show you."' Try to think of this verse from the eyes of a non believer. Who is this crazy God that would ask that of his servant? What a terrible, uncaring thing to say. Where is the loving, kind, just, merciful God Christians claim to follow? The good news is, the story doesn't end there.
Abraham obeys and takes Issac to the mountain. God was pretty specific about who to bring. Remember Abraham didn't techinally have only one son. Ishmael, born of a servant Haggar was older than Issac but he was not the son God planned for Abraham and he was not the beloved son and he was not who God asked for. God asked for Abraham's legitimate son who he loved. He asked a lot of Abraham. Walking out the door with your child knowing God asked you to kill them would take a lot. But Abraham knew who God was. God called Abraham (then Abram) OUT LOUD in Gen 12 promising to make him a great nation if he would follow God and leave his father's household behind. God made a covalent with Abraham in Gen 15 to give him offspring as numerous as the stars. God gave Abraham and Sarah a child despite their very old age. Abraham knew he could trust this God who had been faithful to him and had walked with him for years and years.
When Abraham and Issac got to the mountain, Issac asked where the offering was and Abraham answered that God would provide. That sounds like a man who knows who God is and that he expects God to keep his covanent. How could his offspring be like the stars of the night sky if he had no heir?
God did provide an offering, a ram. Issac was spared, it was a test for Abraham. God keeps his promises and doesn't ask us to do anything he wouldn't do himself. Genisis 22:2 is hard to explain if you read only this verse. If you read on though, you will see the beautiful story of faith and faithfulness only God could write. Christians- We need to know why we love God. We need to seek knowledge of his character. Non-Christians- God is so much better than we know or can explain and he shows himself throughout His Word. I am sorry we fail at showing his goodness so that you would want to know Him. We need to be the most loving, giving and faithful people to do justice to the character of our Lord.
Oh Lord, You have been good. You have been faithful, to all generations. I am striving to know the Word to better know my God. I am working to work it into my days and to be able to truely say I live out what I profess to believe.
I continue sharing despite the fact that it is hard for me every time. It is so easy to share funny stories about my kids but hard to share my very personal faith. i share because I think there is a need for people to hear honesty about Christianity and struggles and growth. I hope to be an encouragement to others as they challenge their beliefs and desire to grow in God.