Put yourself in Abraham’s place. God has just asked you to sacrifice the most precious thing in the world—your child, your marriage, your health, your home. You name it—God wants it. What would you do? Could you follow God’s commands to sacrifice your child as unquestioningly as Abraham did. But wait, you say. “I have nothing in common with Abraham. Abraham was an exceptional person. His story made it into the Bible. God established him as the patriarch of a great nation.” How many people were out there who failed God and whose stories we don’t read in the Bible? We must keep in mind that we are all exceptional in God’s sight. We have a relationship with God, and that relationship at times requires sacrifice.
God probably will never call on us to do anything as dreadful as killing our own offspring to prove our faith, but this is a good story for us to keep in mind when God’s commands to us seem, well, just plain unreasonable. It takes faith to act on God’s commands when we feel that tug toward the uncomfortable or unwise or dangerous thing. “You want me to be nice to those people down the street that the rest of the neighbors don’t like? That would be social suicide, God.” Me, a missionary/minister/teacher/counselor? You must be joking God!”
It is important to keep the lines of communication open with God. We must ask God, “What would you have me do, Lord?” and act out of our faith so we may carry out God’s wishes for our lives.
- If you were Abraham, what would your response be to God on learning that you were expected to sacrifice your child?
- Have you ever given something you valued to someone who needed it more? How did it make you feel?
- Have you ever found yourself caught between God’s will for you and other’s expectations? What did you do?
- Write down your own definition of the concept of faith and list as many examples as you can of people around you (they don’t necessarily have to be members of your own church) whose faith is a vital part of their lives.
- Select something you own that you really like and give it to a charitable organization. It doesn’t have to be your grandfather’s heirloom watch—just something you like and value, like a favorite shirt or sweater. Imagine someone in need enjoying the benefit of your charitable act.
- Pray to God for the ability to discern God’s will for your life and the faith and courage to carry out God’s will.