Yesterday I read an article about Tim Tebow and the fact that Google hits for John 3:16 are spiking since Tebow wore the words on his eye paint (forgive me football fans if I speak not footballese).
The article also mentioned that Tebow passed 316 yards against the Steelers (I ask once more: concidence? or providence? LOL). The article also quoted the verse in question:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
[An aside: I just read a great article on God and Tebow here]
So what does that have to do with Genesis, you ask?
Well, today I read the following in Genesis 22:2:
Then God said [to Abraham, about his long-awaited son], “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” (all quotes NIV)
I know God said that Abraham was faithful when he trusted God for a son 25 years back. But then there were a those faith trip-ups: the Ishmael and Sarah situations… I wonder how Abraham’s faith grew enough for him to obey the command to sacrifice his only son?
Maybe it was because the son was actually born, “at the very time God had promised him.” (Genesis 21:2). When Abraham was 100 years old.
In any case, Abraham obeyed. And just as the knife was ready to cut (Genesis 22: 11-12):
… the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
And what was the result of Abraham’s obedience, coupled with God’s grace?
The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:15-17
Two one and only sons.
Two promised descendants of Abraham.
Two fathers willing to sacrifice their one and only sons. (Note that Abraham responded “Here I AM” to the angel)
Two sons willing to obey their fathers to the death.
Two offerings that atone for sin.
Two sons through whom all peoples are blessed.
The incidents: two thousand years apart.
It think not.
As I type this up, I am somehow moved to tears by how God orchestrated all of this.
Today’s readings: Genesis 21:1-22:24, Psalm 6:6-10, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 8:18-34