Will you be God's companion?

Abraham carried the burden of God like it was his own. Can we?

Published 26 October 2013  |  
PA

The moment when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son is a well known and touching story, but also one that raises many questions with us. God is the God of life who does not want people to kill others and I would greatly doubt whether God would give me such assignment. And if he did, I would at least want to discuss it with him first.

Asking Abraham to slay his one and only son is an unusual request from God. We, who know the end of story, look at it more nuanced, but for Abraham it was undoubtedly difficult to understand.

It says in Genesis 22:3 that Abraham rose up early in the morning.

Incredibly, it seems he discussed this assignment with nobody, not even with his wife Sarah or Isaac.

There is a lot written about this event. In most Bible translations it says "Abraham's faith is put to the test".

This is also in the first verse. Here the Hebrew word 'nissa' is used and the sense is of a test that tests one's positive qualities. God does such testing only with believers.

We read this story especially from Abraham's experience, but I think there is also a God experience.

God as father had a problem. He had to sacrifice his Son for mankind. I don't want to make God like a human but he did have intense sorrow in having to do this.

Many people also have a problem or a knot in their stomach. They face major problems and decisions. In addition, many often seek guidance and advice from others. Preferably with someone they trust. We see that people are looking for other people who have gone through the same problem.

We tend to look first to our peers. Why? Because here you meet people who have gone through that, too. They had the same struggles and questions. People with this kind of experience are a kind of expert we like to learn from. We ask things like: How did you overcome this fear? How did you do this practically?

These kinds of talks can go deep and so we have things like peer support groups around a particular problem, such as a disease or victims of certain kinds of accidents and tragedies.

God as father had a heavy burden when he had to sacrifice His Son. But what we can see through this story is that he was looking for a companion or peer, someone to share this burden with him. God took Abraham as someone who wanted to bear his burden like God. God found in him the much needed companion and peer. Abraham and God throughout eternity have this aspect of burden in common and have a lot of things to talk about together no doubt.

Can also God share His burden with us?

Dick Slikker lives in Harderwijk and is a consultant for mission projects. Find out more at www.projectcaremc.org and www.lessgodmorecrisis.org

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