“If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:1-3)
In making both an apologetic and an inspirational argument…the goal of this book…to end-times Christians to encourage and to confirm our faith…for the existence of God and the truth of Old Testament Judaism and New Testament Christianity…one place to start is to make the opening claim that the story of Abraham…and all of the life-stories of the biblical characters of faith coming after him…are too profound…too complex…too coherently integrated…and too thoroughly unconventional to be the product of human literary invention.
If this claim is true…and I think it is…this is one of the most important issues for discussion and actual testing… through applied Christian living…in all of human history.
The novelty of the through-line of the story of Abraham…having no precedent or parallel outside of the Bible…is that God…the Creator of the universe…communicates and interacts on a personal level with Abraham in a life-script that has an imaginative story, true-to-life characters, and captivating drama.
But the story of Abraham also has a life-script that introduces revolutionary, non-simplistic, highly specific, unheard-of themes that cannot be found anywhere within the universally conventional mindset of the plans and goals for “normal” human living…in 2,100 B.C. or in the twenty-first century A.D.
The apologetic and inspirational argument in this book starts out by suggesting that unless Abraham has the faith-challenging, plotline component of waiting the unexpected twenty-five years for the birth of Isaac…this being a large detail left-out of God’s promise to Abraham of descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth and the stars in the night sky (Gen. 13:16, 15:4-6, 22:17)…that unless God shakes up and turns upside-down the universal mindset of worldly conventional thinking…shared by Abraham and every other human being on earth since the dawn of time…then Abraham would not have been able to muster the faith to take Isaac up to Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:1-19).
This ultimate surrender of all that is important to Abraham in trusting and obeying God in taking Isaac up to Mount Moriah…resulted in giving us an invaluable foreglimpse of what God the Father planned to do with His Son Jesus the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin…two thousand years later at the cross on Calvary Hill in Jerusalem.
If Abraham and Sarah had been able to start a large family early…according to a more conventional life-script upon their arrival in Canaan…to live a commonplace, unremarkable, and unadventurous life-script…then over time it is likely that Abraham would have become so committed to the routine activities and continued longevity of a large family life…that the conditioned instinctual pull inside him to stay within worldly conventional normalcy on a going-forward basis…would have flat-out said “no way” to God’s incredibly audacious and unconventional “request” to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering at Mount Moriah.
It was the unusually unconventional component of the late arrival of the birth of Isaac…engineered by God in Abraham’s life-script…that reconditioned Abraham’s thinking and thereby set-up the context of events that inaugurated the revolutionary new concept of biblical faith.
This is described succinctly in Hebrews 11:1…”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”…that scrambled-up the otherwise rigid duties, responsibilities, and long-range aspirations that normally accompany the early start and ongoing maintenance of a large-sized family-life.
This created the space within the newly liberated mindset of faith within Abraham to even entertain…much less follow through with this idea to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac…for what turned out to be the highest and best of reasons imaginable…as we see at the end of the story…and as we see two thousand years later in history, with Jesus Christ crucified on Calvary Hill.
It was the innovative, fine-tuned trajectory of the upfront preparation for Abraham that enabled him (Heb. 11:17-19) to step forward in faith…take Isaac to Mount Moriah…and become the “father of faith” for the millions upon millions of people down through the succeeding centuries of human redemptive history…who will also accept the risk to place the benefit-of-the-doubt in the reliability of the word of the timeless and living God (Isa. 46:9-10)…in their unique “called-out” missions in life (Gen. 15:13-16).
Simply put, the faith-journey of Abraham offers an alternative dynamic for human life…previously unheard-of…of God displacing our otherwise safe, risk-averse, and spiritually short-sighted ways with something far better.
This opening biblical life-script of faith…for Abraham…not only argues for its divine origin on the basis of its utter departure from worldly conventional thinking and normalcy…in God displacing our ways with His higher ways…but it also defines the intensity, focus, and the resolve of a God-composed journey of faith that is not “playing religion”…that has no overlap whatsoever with self-led self-realization.
Abraham let go of nearly everything that was important to him…in his final test on Mount Moriah.
The essence…the core…the central theme of this instruction from God to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac…was the issue of God’s way or our way.
We must remember here that God worked through the faith of Abraham to provide us with a foreglimpse of what God would do through the cross of Calvary with His own Son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world…as the Passover Lamb of God.
From Inspirational Thoughts for Christians.