In Genesis 22, we are taught the story of Abraham’s TRUE faith. No, not the leaving of his family and his father’s country. Not the being a sojourner in a land called his, instead of being able to set up a home. All that required true faith that the Father would provide, for sure.
However, let’s be honest. How easy would it be to leave your home and know the Father would provide for you? For us, in this present day, it might look something like this:
- Sell your large home
- Buy a smaller home, maybe a bit closer to work, school, or family
- Have a smaller payment or no debt at all
- Praise the Father for providing
That sounds pretty easy, right? And I know that Abraham’s faith was a strong faith in the Father. When Yah told Abraham that he and his wife Sarah would have a son in their old age, Abraham knew it would happen. Didn’t know how, he just knew it would.
Ah, that Sarah. She longed for this son for so long. Her heart must have ached to hold a baby of her own. Hearing that a son would be born to a woman well past child bearing years would have made me laugh out loud, too! Doubt would have easily crept in, and I would question it as well.
When the baby finally DID come, did that make Sarah’s faith stronger in the Father? Maybe. We really aren’t told much about Sarah’s faith and her relationship with Yahweh. So, I imagine myself in that position. I’ve prayed about a child for years and years, when the time finally comes for me in my old age I am exuberant. I can see her now, bouncing that baby on her leg, nursing that child with love and care. Watching with joy in her old eyes as he toddles on his first steps. Ears that ring with the sound of his first words.
Believing this child was the promised one, and nothing would ever harm or hurt him.
All that would change for Sarah. When the Father told Abraham to take Issac up to the mountain and offer a sacrifice, there is nothing that suggests Abraham consulted Sarah about the decision. Nothing that suggests that Abraham doubted for one moment that the Father spoke to him and told him to do it. Abraham just knew that the Father would take care of things, that the promise he gave to make his seed into a great nation would not be a lie. Whatever the Father promised is what would happen. Even if that meant Issac would be raised from the dead. Abraham believed.
Did Sarah know this to be true? After reading the story of Abraham taking Issac up, putting him on the altar, raising the knife, being stopped and blessed, what more do we read of Sarah?
The next time she is mentioned in Genesis 23, Sarah dies.
Did she hear what Abraham was going to do with her only son, the longed for child, and die of a broken heart? That seems likely. What did Abraham know that she didn’t?
As a mother of three wonderful teenage children, I can feel Sarah’s pain. The idea that something would happen to harm or kill my child would grieve me to the core as well. It would pain me more to see THEM hurting than to see ME hurting. I know that most mothers can testify to that as well. We would give our right arm, our eyes, our very lives to protect and keep them. That’s a good thing, truly.
Yet, we are to lay our children on the altar as well. Not literally kill them as a sacrifice, but to offer them up to the Father. To pray that HIS plan will be worked out in their lives. When our children go astray, it’s painful to see. Yet, the Father already knows their path and what it will take to pull them back. To stop praying for “protection” but to pray that the Father will reach them, no matter what.
And yes, that is painful to see. Painful to watch your child deal with pain. But, if that is what it takes to have them repent and turn to the Father, then that is what we need to allow to happen. We need to “get out of the Father’s way” and allow them to be placed on the altar. Allow the Father to cut their hearts, and remove the stony parts. Yes, it will hurt them. Yes, our hearts will hurt watching it.
But, the promised blessing is worth the pain. The promise of “Train a child in the way they should go, and when he is old, he WILL NOT DEPART.” (Proverbs 22:6). And for all those who are struggling with a wayward child, this promise may be all you have to cling to. It is for me right now. Watching our older teen son struggle with his faith, doubt it, question it, and even walk away from it is heartbreaking. Laying him on the altar and allowing the Father to do His will isn’t easy either. As a mother, I want to protect my child from danger, harm, or any pain.
Like Sarah, a part of me feels dead when my child is hurting. To have the faith of Abraham and KNOW that the Father will take care of the child is what we need to have. We need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Father WILL be true to His word, always.