Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TTB: Genesis 21-24

Standout verse: " Abraham said, 'God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering my son.'" (Genesis 22:8a)

Little Insights:
*Children were usually weaned around 3-4 years old. Sarah nursed Isaac at least until she was 92 years old!
*Abraham was a rich man, yet he does not give Hagar an animal or two to provide travel or pack with food and water.
*Beersheba can be translated "well of seven".
*Abraham's reply of "Hineni!" (Here I am, I am ready) is very powerful and echoes of a child completely focused on their father. Moses and Isaiah both say "Hineni!" to God in response to His call!
*Abraham reveals his faith in God when he claims that they will return after worshipping God. (22:5)
*Although many scholars believe that Isaac is in his teenage years--since he can think analytically and carry a bundle big enough to consume a sacrifice--some believe he could be as old as 30 since the next chapter dates Sarah at 127.
*Isaac is a type of Christ in that he willingly lays down his life to his Father. Even the emphasis of 'only son' (Gen 22:2 & 16) is reminiscent of Christ.
*Sarah had been Abraham's constant companion for a LONG time. His lavish burial and expenses reveal his grief.
*Sarah is one of only two women listed in Hebrews "hall of faith". (Hebrews 11:11)

God's ancient calling of His chosen people to sacrifice is one that American Christians today don't often hear. Too many Christians are enamored with the busyness of the world to listen to God's call to sacrifice. It's deeper than just our pocketbooks, it's a total evaluation of our life and His blessings to His glory. Just like Abraham, we can be rich; but, we need to be rich towards God too! Sacrifice is, of course, not often with our money. Sometimes it's all too easy to simply reach for our checkbook to appease the convictions of the Spirit. For me, I have a hard time giving up my time. This is especially true when commitments or ministries cut into my time with Tim. Now, it is godly for me to be with him as his helpmate, but very often I use that position to avoid serving others for God's glory. Sacrificing of blood is no longer necessary, thanks to Jesus, but obedience to God is, and sometimes that means sacrificing what the world would call "your dream" to serve God for His glory. I pray that as I give up, albeit painfully, those things my heart longs for, that I will see the true blessing in life is following Jesus' heart and not my own.

Just for fun: Make a list in your journal of the top things you absolutely could not live without (people too!), prayerfully surrender those items to God so that should He ask for them you can say, "Hineni" to His will.

Love, Lauren

PS- Re: the picture this entry:
When I was in Florence, I had a chance to see the Caravaggio's Abraham and Isaac at the Uffizi Gallery. The painting absolutely mesmerized me!! This posted copy does not do justice to the real one! I love the sacrificial lamb's pleading eyes and its willingness to take the place of Isaac. It is very beautiful. It makes me think about the sublime wonder of Christ's offering which always makes me cry.

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