By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. [Hebrews 11:17-19]
“Abe and Zack”
Note: The following is a modern rendition of when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son (Genesis 22). Keep that in mind as you read it because it will seem somewhat odd to your listeners and you should be prepared to explain it to them if they get confused during the telling. JM
Abe and his only son Zack loved to camp and fish and hunt. They usually set aside a couple fall or early winter days for the outing. This time, they were out just a week before Thanksgiving. Usually when they hunted, they didn’t care if they shot a bird or just took pictures of one. But they brought guns because there were bears and large cats in this area of the country.
The first night, Zack hit his sleeping bag early and Abe was enjoying a quite fire in the cool of the evening when he felt God speaking to him.
“God?” Abe said to the inner voice that was guiding him with very specific instructions. “I am listening.” He whispered.
“Take Zack to the top of the mountain tomorrow.” He felt the spirit was saying. “There you will use your gun you will offer him to me to be the special kill that will be used to honor the Lord your God this Thanksgiving Day.”
What an odd instruction. How could God ask him to kill his own son, a son that God gave him after many prayers and one that God had promised to make into a mighty servant of the kingdom of God? Should he argue with God? No. Somehow, despite a very confused mind, he knew that obedience was the right thing to do.
In the morning, they broke camp and Abe told Zack about his prayer time. “God wants us to go to the top of the mountain where we will kill a very special prize to be used for our Thanksgiving meal this year.” Said Abe.
“God said that Dad?” Zack said skeptically. But Zack trusted God and trusted his dad with everything so finally he said. “Ok, if that what God wants, that is what we will do.”
They hiked along quietly with Zack in the lead. As Abe cradled his gun, he knew it would be so hard to turn his gun on his son who he loved more than even his own life. Finally, they got to the top of the mountain and Zack crossed the clearing. “Ok Pop, did God have any specifics about where this special prize was or what it would be? Is it a turkey or a boar or something else? You know mom doesn’t like surprises.” Then Zack turned back toward his dad and froze. There directly opposite was Abe holding his rifle to his face and pointing it directly at him.
Still Zack did not believe that his dad was going to kill him. His mind raced. Abe loved him more than any human in the world and Zack knew that God loved him too and had a wonderful future for him. So why was his dad pointing that gun at him? “Uh dad? Is the kill behind me because you know, I don’t mind ducking.”
“God will provide the kill.” Abe said solemnly and he brought back the hammer of the gun. Zack’s head was directly in his sights. As he began to squeeze the trigger, a powerful anointing from inside his heart surged up from his spirit.
“To the left!” the Holy Spirit said and without a moment’s hesitation, Abe turned the gun to the left and fired. The recoil of the gun knocked the old man down. He was afraid to get up but he knew God was in control. When he sat up, there stood Zack with a huge turkey in his arms killed with one precision shot from Abe’s rifle.
“That was some shot dad. I didn’t even see you aim. For a minute I thought that gun was pointed at me and I was all, you know dad, I can clean my room better, no need to get so dramatic but then you fired and….” Zack’s happy voice continued on but Abe just bowed his head and thanked God for honoring his obedience. Zack did go on to a great career, a ministry that brought salvation to many. In their old age, Abe finally told his wife about the hunting trip. Before she could get upset he told her the lesson he had finally come to from that amazing outing.
“God honored my obedience and the obedience of Zack. Since then I have walked with God as a friend. But friendship with God is always grounded in obedience.” He said.
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