Happy Valentine's Day!
How much would you sacrifice as an act of love? of faith? of duty?
The story of today is the story of Abraham and Isaac and Mount Moriah. This story is disturbing to the modern reader (present authorship included). But because we don't have the same cultural context, it's harder to get in the mindset that helps us interpret the story. Three brief comments.
One, just because I don't like parts of a story doesn't mean it's not true and shouldn't speak to me, critiquing the life I live and worldview I hold. If Jesus prayed that I should be sanctified in the Truth (John 17.17), then I have to leave room for the Scripture messing me up instead of me writing off portions of the Scripture to fit my understanding of how life should work.
Two, the fact that God did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac but instead fulfilled the prophetic word ("God will provide for Himself a lamb") speaks volumes. It sets Him apart from every other deity on the scene, all of whom demanded human sacrifice and many other horrific things.
Three, according to Hebrews 11, Abraham fully expected to make the sacrifice of his son and see a resurrection. His logic went something like this: God promised it was going to be Isaac; God said to sacrifice Isaac; therefore, God must be going to raise Isaac from the dead.
It's gutsy. Gritty, even. Risky for sure.
Following God always is.