The worst story in history to my mind is written in the Bible. My heart cringes and writhes until the very end where the terrible, unthinkable situation is saved by a ram caught in a thicket. It makes no difference that I’ve known how the story ends all of my life. From the first sentence, my mind’s eye fixates on that gleaming knife, raised high, in the gnarled hand of weeping, old Abraham. And I can hardly breathe till the angel shouts, “Stop! Don’t do it, Abraham!” I’m left feeling relieved and spent.
Yesterday, our sermonizer opened his Bible to Genesis, you guessed it, to the worst part. I steeled myself again and thought, “I don’t think I can do this story, not right now.” But we were seated too far front to flee. It was too late.
Thanks be to Jesus, the preacher gathered up the whole story, not just the Genesis account. He included the references to this story from the Grace side in the New Testament. And it made sense to my quaking heart at last.
Abraham believed God and trusted the Promise. Even if the angel hadn’t shouted; God would have raised him up. It’s still nerve wracking, but there’s hope.
Hope for me. The challenge is clear. If Abraham can trust the turn out of his children to a God who promised, can I? Like him, can I trust God with my most precious thing? It turned out for Abraham all the way to rejoicing to see Jesus’ day in the form of a ram caught in the thicket.