Friday, November 07, 2008

Question of the Week: If You Want Me To

If God appeared to you in a series of vivid and moving dreams and told you to leave everything behind, travel alone to the Red Sea and become a fisherman, what would you do? What if you were told to sacrifice your child?

You know, I haven't been fishing in a long time. I think it's been about 13 years since the last time I picked up a fishing pole. And at that point, it was just a little catch and release stuff on the Roanoke River. I'm guessing that if God wanted me to go deep sea fishing in the middle of the Red Sea it would be a little more complicated than just a stick and a string.

But I suppose that just because I don't consider myself talented in the hunting and fishing field, that I shouldn't use that as an excuse to not go where God has called me. If I truly believed that God was telling me to go to the Red Sea to seize the fish, then that's what I'd do.

Sacrificing one's own child, though, is a different matter entirely. That's something that I wouldn't know what to do until I was in that very situation. If I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God's voice telling me to sacrifice my child, I hope that I would have the kind of faith that Abraham did when he was in those sandals.

The way I picture that story is that Abraham got the call to sacrifice his only son, took his son up to the mountain, and got everything prepared without questioning a thing. I don't think that Abraham knew exactly what was going to happen that day, but I know he wasn't afraid and he didn't lose the trust that he had in God. He knew that God had promised him a son that would lead to a nation of countless people. He knew that God would remain faithful to his promises. Abraham knew that everything would be all right. When Isaac quetioned his father about the sacrifice, Abraham told him that God would provide. God did provide the sacrifice that day, and Isaac walked away unharmed. And it also foreshadowed another sacrifice that God would later provide, giving us all the opportunity to walk away unharmed.

See what I just did there? I got deep. Theology style. Guess my year and a half in seminary wasn't for nothing after all.

So really, the question of whether or not I'd sacrifice my child is a moo point. 'Cause God wouldn't ask us to do that anymore. 'Cause his Son already made the ultimate sacrifice. Yes, I would go fishing in the Red Sea though. Sounds interesting.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

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