I am preaching on Abraham and Isaac this Sunday, and have come upon some useful insight to a common story from the Bible in Genesis 22. God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. I have to stop there. That is a huge request. God asks him to kill his son! Abraham agrees, chops the wood, and heads out to the mountain God has shown him. Most people would say that agreeing to sacrifice your son to a god is not the hallmark of good parenting, and I would agree.
But we know the full story. This sacrifice was far more than a trivial request of a demanding deity. It prefigures the sacrifice of Jesus showing the willingness of a father to sacrifice a son and the action of God to provide a substitutionary sacrifice for us.
That is when it hit me. Abraham's willingness to follow God whatever the cost was what made him a great father. The way to best care for my children is to put my full trust in God and model that trust in my actions. More than a car when they turn sixteen or a perfectly funded college savings account, my call is to lead them to Jesus through my life and actions. That is my prayer this father's day: that I would not lose focus on what is eternally important, but would model for them a life of faith that is lived out in my life. Well, that AND that he would not ask me to sacrifice my son.
Coming this August!
The Book of Everyday Prayer is for anyone looking to have deeper conversations with God in a busy world. It contains a seven-day read-along guide for praying the hours—dawn, morning, midday, afternoon, evening, and midnight. Within each prayer you’ll find Scripture and even song lyrics to help you focus your mind and heart on God.
Also included in the book are a set of ancient prayer practices and over 30 prayers for every occasion from cleaning your room to taking a test to fighting with a frien.