God provides

22 God provides

God commanded Abraham, “Take Isaac, whom you love, and offer him as a human sacrifice on a mountain I’ll show you in Moriah.”

Abraham got up early from a restless night’s sleep, saddled a donkey, and cut up some wood for the burnt offering. He took a couple of servants with him and headed for Moriah with his son. After three days of travel, he looked out and saw the place God had designated for the altar.

“Stay here with the donkey and supplies,” Abraham told his servants. “Isaac and I will go up, worship, and then return.” Abraham gave the wood to his son, while he carried the lighted firepot and the knife. They walked together up the steep hill to the place of worship.

“Father,” Isaac called out as they walked along. “We have fire and wood, but where is the lamb for our offering?”

“God himself will bring the lamb, son,” Abraham said, a lump welling in his throat. They continued to walk on together.

When they reached the right spot, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood accordingly. Next, he bound his son and lifted him up onto the altar.

As Abraham brought the sharp knife close to the boy’s throat for a quick, clean cut, and with burning tears pouring down his face, an angel from God called out from the spiritual realm. “Abraham!”

Abraham halted the tremoring knife. “Here I am,” he ejaculated.

“Don’t harm the boy in any way,” he answered. “I know now that you fear God, since you’ve withheld nothing you treasure.”

Abraham cut the cords that bound his son and wiped the tears from his bloodshot eyes. He looked up and spotted a ram, its horns tangled in a thicket. Taking the ram, he put it onto the woodpile in place of his son and offered it up as a sacrifice of worship to God.

Abraham named the area, “God Provides.”

Once again, the angel called out. “God promises by his own name that because you’ve been obedient and not withheld your treasure from me, I will absolutely bless you and make your family members as numerous as the stars in the sky and sand on the beach. They will conquer their enemies, and by them, all nations will be blessed.”

Abraham and Isaac returned to the servants who were camping below. In the morning they got up and traveled down to Beersheba.

Abraham settled there, and word reached him that his brother Nahor became the father of eight sons, of whom, Bethuel became the father of a little girl named Rebekah.

Inspiration: Genesis 22

Cain’s tattoo

 

03 cains tattoo

Eve, “Mother Of All,” bore two sons: Cain, a farmer, and Abel, a shepherd. As a seasonal gesture of faith in God’s provision, each would offer their sacrifice on an altar. Cain would throw together an indiscriminate mix of berries and greens and scatter them upon the cold stone. Abel would take from the firstborn of his flocks, cut the choicest sections of meat from the bone, and burn the flesh down to a charred powder.

Naturally, Abel’s sacrifice pleased God, but Cain’s offering, being no sacrifice at all, was ignored. God spoke to a sulking Cain, saying, “You can do your best and be happy in life, or cut corners and be ruled by imperfections. Laziness is easy to master, but it’s a sure path to misery.”

Cain considered all this and made his choice. The next time he and Abel walked together in the fields, Cain seized a blunt object and slayed his brother with it. When God asked what happened, Cain deflected, asking, “When did I become my brother’s designated guardian?”

But Abel cried out from the grave and cast a curse on the fields with his drying blood. The stained red soil would no longer produce a yield for the farmer, so Cain became a nomad with a price on his head.

When the murdering outcast finally begged for God’s help, he was met with tender mercy. “If anyone kills you,” God promised, “I will punish them seven times worse.” God put an identifiable mark on Cain to deter anyone from killing him, and Cain settled in the land of Nod.

His lineage brought forth some of the earliest civilized people, including shepherds who lived in made-made structures, musicians, and smiths.

God eventually blessed Adam and Eve with another son, Seth, who brought forth many descendants, including a man named Enoch, who walked with God until he vanished into thin air.

Inspiration: Genesis 4