Abraham’s Dilemma

The scripture says,

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead… (Heb 11:17-19).

In this passage, we have the picture of Abraham offering up his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. It says in verse 17; By faith, Abraham, when he was tested offered up Isaac …

Now the reason this is so amazing is not only because Isaac is Abraham’s only son, and not only because the 10 Commandments are going to say don’t murder, but mainly because God has promised to Abraham “someday, you’re going to have more sons and daughters than the sand on the seashore” (Genesis 32:12).

In other words, God says, “they’re going to come through Isaac. I promise you, I’m God and I promise you they’re coming through Isaac – now kill him.”

Now, here’s the application to you’re life and mine; I’ve been talking with a couple who are breaking up and aching inside and I’ve been doing my best to talk them out of breaking up. And I sent them an email yesterday, with this very message in mind, and I said, “You know, what you’re facing right now in your choice of whether to stay married or not, is an Abraham dilemma – it’s whether to kill Isaac or not.” It feels that impossible.

I’ve seen dozens of couples who are moving towards divorce and I know that some marriages become impossible to work out. I know that, especially in cases of violence and abuse. But 90% of the time it’s because at least one of them will not trust God. They won’t believe Him, they say, “If I stay – I will be miserable, and God doesn’t want me to be miserable for the rest of my life; therefore, I don’t think He wants me to stay.” That’s the scenario over and over and over again.

And, I picture Abraham saying, “God, I want children – I want heirs – you told me that they’re all going to come through Isaac, and now you ask me to give up that dream of a happy life. Just give it up – I don’t believe you and I don’t trust you.”

Now, Abraham did not say that – that’s why he’s in the Book! Abraham took his son, Isaac, on the mountain, he lifted the knife, and God to keep His own law and to bless this obedient man, provided a substitute.

And that’s the lesson from this passage of scripture; that we can trust Him!

  • The issue for some right now is; will you stay married.
  •  The issue for many of you is; will you stay Single?
  •  The issue for others is; Will you leave the job your in?
  •  The issue for others; Will you stay in your job, for God?
  •  The issue for many is will you speak up at work for me – finally, speak up! Speak out for me, open your mouth for me – lift up the knife over your own reputation.
  •  For others it’s; will you confront that person about their sin, and risk that friendship for me?
  • For another; will you be a missionary; will you yield to that call?

And in every case, more or less, we feel like the step of obedience, or the step of yielding to the call of God, will make us miserable – it’s just not gonna work.

You protest, “I don’t care what you say Tim, it’s just not gonna work!”

But what else could Abraham say, “The promise will not be fulfilled if I kill my son!” Everything human says so!

And that’s the life of faith folks. Those are the kind of things that we gotta do – will we not only desire God more, but now, will we trust a God who as it were CAN RAISE THE DEAD?

May it be so –

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