When God provides
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19
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Take It Further: Your Only Son by Julie Cramer
Three days. On the morning Abraham cinched the saddle around the donkey’s belly, he already understood just how long he would have to journey with the weight of God’s command. Not looking at Sarah, he motioned for the caravan to set out and wrapped a thin scarf around his face, leaving enough room to gaze at his son, who traveled in front of him, unaware.
Isaac! Abraham and Sarah’s beloved son. The one God had promised. Through him, God had said a nation would rise like stars at night. Hour after hour Abraham replayed the moments of Isaac’s life until a sob escaped his mouth and he covered it with a cough and wiped his eyes. This sand. This wind. On the third day, Abraham gripped the reins as they neared the mountain range, sensing the time had come, the knife’s sheath digging into his thigh. I’m here, Lord, but why? Isn’t there another way?
Stop! Stop here! He dismounted, heaving the bundles of firewood to the ground to relieve the donkey, and unfurling the pallets. Isaac began watering the animals, and the servants setting up camp.
Later, around the fire, Abraham watched Isaac as he ate, trying to savor every detail of his son—the muscled jaw, the throat swallow, the laugh an explosive ring of sound rooting birds from their late-night nests. Nothing else on earth mattered—would ever matter—as much as this boy.
It took longer to get to Beersheba, but the journey felt lighter with the burden gone. I cannot think about what happened on that mountain, Lord. I cannot. How he fought me! Why did I have to bind the rope so tightly? The marks it left. The way we both wailed. Did you hear, Lord? Then the ram. The ram. And so, he walked on, aware of the chill falling and the stars opening their Kingdom windows. How thankful he was to have been spared, how overcome with a stone in the throat that his beloved son was alive somewhere, also still breathing in and breathing out the relief of rescue.
Ways to Engage This Story
- As Kierkegaard did, try to write your own imagining of this story.
- Read the following verses, think about Jesus’ death on the cross, and note any parallels: John 3:16; Hebrews 11:17; 1 John 4:9. Do they influence your view of this account in any way?
- In Genesis 22:19, it says that Abraham and his servants returned to Beersheba. He did not return home, and the text does not say that Isaac went with him. Later, in Genesis 23:2, Abraham goes to where Sarah is after she dies; they are not together. The text is silent, but obeying God is often costly. How do you think Abraham’s obedience influenced his family? Can you relate?
We’d love to hear from you. Please share with us below your thoughts and insight. We would love to see Take it Further be a place where as a community we dialog, and together we all take the conversation further.
*Note: If you wish, you can look up this and other Bible passages online at youversion.com
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