It is OK!

It is OK! Hope in the distance, part 3


A child painting

"Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said, “Here I am. Then He said, “Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Gen 22:1-2, King James

How would we face such a command? Would were be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Nowadays we would never hear of anyone who would be asked of God to sacrifice their child on an altar. It would be really strange. This wasn't such an unusual thing in Abraham's day, however. In his day, it was the norm for people to offer their children to Moloch or to other gods, and a command such as that received by Abraham wouldn't have seemed strange at all.

However, the command caused Abraham to mourn. He loved his promised child. Nonetheless, Abraham didn't hesitate. Even though he didn't understand, he obeyed. His son would carry the wood for the burnt offering and the flint and the knife. (See Gen22:6)

Isaac was not a dummy. He knew something dreadful would happen. (See Gen 22:7b), but he trusted his father who told him that God would provide. (See Gen 22:8), and so it was that Abraham built the altar, put the wood on it, and reached for the knife.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” (God) said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”Gen 22:12, NIV

But this was only meant to be a test. Our living Heavenly Father would never ask us to sacrifice a child, or any other human for that matter. He is, after all, a God of love, and here is God's response: "The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, 'I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Gen 22:15-18, NIV

Through Abraham's obedience, a whole civilization would be blessed! Wow!

And so Isaac survived. The Israelites also survived, even though so many tried to persecute them. It is interesting to note that although so many ancient civilizations disappeared, the Jews did not.

In addition, this whole incident gave Abraham an inkling of what would happen with the Son of God. He would come willingly to our planet for the purpose to becoming a sacrifice. The innocent gave His life to the fullest, so that the guilty could be forgiven.

Jesus came on our world at Christmas time to free us, and those who accept His gift are completely forgiven.

It wasn't easy, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Mark 14:34, NIV

Through Jesus' promises, we have confidence that our Heavenly Father loves us. We have nothing to worry about. He is with us always. God loves us way more than we can ever imagine. Our God opened the doors wide, so that anyone can find Him without difficulty. Believing in Him will lead to eternity, which is way better than what we experience on this planet.

Many years ago, I had bus duty at the school where I taught. A kindergarten student started to talk with me. He told me: "I will die soon."

He had no hair on his head, and I wondered if he had cancer. It made me very sad.

Somehow he could feel my sorrow, for he took my hand. "It's OK. I am not worried. I know where I am going. I will be with God."

I couldn't believe how excited he was to know that he would soon be with God.

He looked in my eyes and said: "I am only concerned about my mom and dad. They are so sad."

That kid had a heart after God. He wasn't worried about himself ... He was concerned about his parents!

A few weeks, later he passed away. The school planted a tree to his memory, but I didn't need a tree to remember how he said, "It is OK." He knew where he was heading. He was in love with Jesus. Nothing would stop him. I know I will see him in heaven.

May we pray for the young ones like this boy. There are many who are suffering. They need that hope as well.

Rob Chaffart

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