Abraham’s Moment

Posted: December 12, 2009 in Uncategorized
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I came across this in a devotional journal I kept for a short time years ago. It’s sort of a fictional perspective piece I wrote after reading the story of Abraham’s preparation to sacrifice Isaac.

Tears stinging his eyes, Abraham cannot bear to look into his only son’s pleading, fearful, confused eyes. This father’s hand shakily holds the knife above his son, preparing to thrust it into his beloved boy. Abraham’s mind reluctantly travels back to that most joyful day when God promised him a precious son would be born to him and…Not now! He tries to block out the memories, for they agonize him in this moment. But his attempts to stop his wandering mind are to no avail. For even now he remembers the first cries of Isaac at his birth, constrasted by the laughter of his wife at the fact that an old woman like her could bear a child. He recalls holding Isaac in his hands that day, the tiny infant fulfilling God’s gracious promise at long last. Oh, how he squirmed and cried as a baby…kind of like how he squirms now. Only now, he squirms not in the joyful hands of a gleaming father, but against the unbreakable restraints of the ropes he helped tie. Still in disbelief, Isaac continues to cry out to his father. He thinks, “Surely, he cannot kill me, not his only son. He loves me!” Yet the steady stream of tears from his father’s eyes as he holds the knife upraised makes it all too certain that he will be the pitiful lamb slaughtered gruesomely at his own father’s hand. Did God require this? How could God command such cold, heinous butchery? Does he have no idea what it is like to be slain by one’s own father like some ceremonial animal for its blood? How primitive, how vile!
Just as Abraham is about to take his son’s life, a voice projects from nearby. It’s the voice of an angel of the Lord! Pure joy and relief now fill Abraham. The blade seems to make a splash as it falls to the puddle of tears which had now formed. He quickly unties the rope and embraces his dear child. As he does, his gaze turns to the most beautiful thicket bush he ever laid eyes on, for this one contained the animal that would be slain in the place of his most cherished son.

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