Holding Nothing Back
Today’s scripture selection: Genesis 20-23
Key verse: Genesis 22:12
Some stories in the Bible really bother me. That may sound funny, coming from a preacher, but that’s just the case. While the scriptures are filled with wonderful tales that can be happily be shared at bedtime with our little ones; it’s also chock full of other things. There is war and human sacrifice and famine and evil and a thousand other things we might rather not think about.
There’s even a story about how one day God asked a faithful man to kill his own son, just to prove his faithfulness. Now that’s not a very comforting bedtime story. But there it is – the story of Abraham and his beloved son Isaac.
Of course, the story doesn’t end with the sacrifice being carried out as ordered. Thankfully for us, and all involved, the scripture tells us it was really just a test – a test of faith. Now, I’m still not very comfortable that either – on the surface, it seems rather cruel of God to test his faithful servant in such a harsh way.
But then, I stop to think about it. And I realize the lesson there really is worth taking to heart. In fact, it may just be the most important truth we can take from the Bible.
God loves us deeply – and he holds nothing back from us – in that love. The whole point of the gospel is that God gave the world “his only begotten Son” to save us. Through the years there have been many arguments about exactly how that took place. But the “why” has always been understood. It’s because God “so loves the world” that He holds nothing back when it comes to expressing that love.
So now, here’s this little story about what God wants from us. He calls us to also be willing to put it all on the table. Everything we cherish; everything we desire; everything we believe we need – we are to be willing, if necessary, to give it up to God. Just like Abraham, we are called to give it all to God – no matter what – no questions asked.
It’s a tough lesson to learn. And to really do it demands great courage and faith. But if we do – if we hold nothing back from God – somehow, miraculously God provides. And we find that what we have in return is more wonderful and meaningful than we could have imagined. We might even find, like Abraham, that just because we are willing to give something up – we need not actually give it up. Instead, we get to keep the thing or one we love – and receive blessing as well.
Hold nothing back. God is faithful. He’ll provide. He always does.
Prayer: Father, help me to have enough faith to give you all I have and all I am. AMEN.