Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. Genesis 22:3
As I study this passage of Scripture, where Abraham was called upon by God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, I get a sense that Abraham had spent a long night in preparation for his trip to the mountains. He got up early the next morning. Have you ever had one of those nights where the stress of life keeps you from sleeping well, so that when morning comes you are the first to rise? I suspect it was much this way with Abraham.
I have always had a mental image of Abraham being so full of faith, and, according to God's Word he was. I also suspect, however, that Abraham was a man, just like me. He was capable of fears, and uncertainties, and struggles of life. He knew a restless night or two. I'm quite sure, as I read the full account of his life, that he had difficulty at times discerning God's direction. I suspect, being called to sacrifice his only son, was one of those trying times. I can't help but wonder if the reason he got up so early was that he had trouble sleeping the night before they left. I know I would have had.
I also notice that he chopped his own wood. This passage certainly could mean that he had his servants chop the wood, but I suspect Abraham did this job himself. Perhaps his mind was so burdened that the time chopping gave him separation from his troubles. Do you suppose Abraham worked up a good sweat and it was somewhat therapeutic? With every chop he may have poured out his heart to God. Sometimes hard work will get our minds off of our troubles.
I guess the reason I want you to think about this human side of Abraham today, is not to lower your opinion of Abraham. No, to the contrary, I hope to build up your opinion of him. This man of faith, the father of the Israelite nation was a man. He was not a super human. He just served a super God. He learned to place his faith not in his own abilities, but in the abilities of his God. I also suspect that is why God used him in such a mighty way!
When you see Abraham in this way you can see that you and I have the same potential for greatness within the Kingdom of God as did Abraham! Praise God that He uses ordinary men for extra-ordinary tasks. People like Abraham....and you....and me!
For more of my thoughts, check out my personal blog at http://www.ronedmondson.com
where I write on issues such as marriage, parenting, church and leadership.
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