He walked as the Lord commanded — this is the characteristic of Abram, the son of Terah and the father of our faith. When he was called, we are told nothing about the background of Abram, except that he was at the time staying in Haran where his father Terah has brought him and their family to stay. But during the course of his dealings with God, he will receive his “definition” as “God’s friend” “father of faith” “blameless man. (Wisdom)”
Faith is a leap in the dark — a trusting surrender to the God who is not seen. Throughout the story of Abraham, we find him obeying God’s word, even if it meant that he should proceed by trial and error. When God wanted him to sacrifice his only son Isaac, he did so. The biblical narrator didn’t dramatize the story; he didn’t tell us what Abraham felt when Isaac, asking him: “Father, where do we get the sacrifice?”, he answered, “God will provide, my son.” The narrator doesn’t embellish his account of the Aqedah with adverbs: when Abraham raised his dagger, did he do so with hesitation? Was he trembling when he looked at his son tied up like an animal sacrifice when he prepared to deliver the blow? And Isaac –what did he say about the matter? Like a lamb for the slaughter, was he silent, or did he “bleat” even for a moment?
But Abraham’s leap into the dark was not met by an uncaring God. We know the rest of the story: Abraham is stopped by an angel and an animal sacrifice is instead substituted for Isaac. The sacrifice of a Son will be made later, when the fulness of time has come. For the moment, Abraham –because of his faith — was considered righteous before God.
Interesting Link: Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling
Originally posted 2005-02-16 20:53:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
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