Thought for the Week - 29th NovemberVandaHopkin
Genesis 22: 2
Genesis 22: 16
God came to Abram and promised that He would make him a nation of many people, a father of generations that would continue until the end of time. It was late in Abrams life, he was 99 years old and he and his wife Sarah had no children. God’s promise would have seemed impossible. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham which means `father of the multitude’. Nothing that God does or says in our lives is meaningless, everything He does for us, in us and through us has a purpose, consequence, and everlasting meaning.
It was not until many years later that as promised, Abraham and Sarah had a child called Isaac, and it was to be through Isaac that Abraham would see the fulfilment of the promise. Later we read that God asks Abraham to sacrifice his most precious possession, Isaac. It must have seemed to Abraham that God was contradicting what He had already said and taking back His promise. It came at a juncture in Abraham’s life where no-one would have been able to help him. Abraham didn’t plead with God, try to delay, manipulate, or bargain, he was just obedient and took Isaac on the 3 day journey to the place where he was to sacrifice him. We can only imagine what Abraham must have thought in that time, ‘’Lord have I got it wrong or mistaken what You said? Have I been disobedient? The way looks dark, where are You leading me?’’ Yet Abraham had a great and mighty faith and he knew that he had to be obedient, his faith was tested to the uttermost and the weight of the task must have been enormous. The enemy would have been coming against his mind and he must have had to cry out and leant on God in a way that he never had before. In God’s asking of him, He would have been saying, Abraham do you trust Me with this? Do you trust Me to the uttermost as I ask of your best?
God comes to us in times like that where we are asked to give something that is precious to us, it could be a plan, a work, person, relationship, our hopes and promises, and suddenly God comes and says, ‘’do you trust Me in this?, will you hand it over to me?’’ The cost of what He asks of us can be very great. It is not for us to half heartedly say, ‘’yes here have it’’ in the hope that He will give it back. Sometimes God doesn’t give it back till eternity. We may never know the reasons why in this life. When we are asked to hand it over, we are asked to hand it over completely, and when we do this something breaks within us at a very deep level from which we are never the same again. We can go along in our obedience to a level and His promises are fulfilled within us to a level, but there comes a time when God says, come further in, further on, and His promises go deeper. When we hand over all the things we hold onto and hold back for ourselves, all the things in which we allow God to only come so far into, and give Him our all, we will have a greater vision, a deeper relationship, and a greater usefulness. God wants to be our nearer friend, our greater friend that we rely on, who can test us to the uttermost and Whose voice we can hear for ourselves in greater measure.
There is a further proving of God in our lives, a further proving of His faithfulness and call. We are here because of Abraham’s obedience; we have been grafted into the vine. Who will be here in years to come because of our obedience? Yet that is just a part, we will be blessed because of it, as will there be blessings for others because of our obedience also.