Life on the Edge

Biblical Studies Apr 01, 2013

Greetings faithful reader!

Apologies for not keeping you all up-to-date. Between work, starting college again and life just taking off in completely marvelous if unforeseen ways, blogging got kicked down the priority list.

That’s lame because I really like blogging. So, it’s a new day, a new month and here is a new post for you.

I’m working on a variety of different things right now, some of which, I hope, I will make it to my humble corner of the internet. All in good time, so stay tuned. In the mean time, I had an assignment recently asking about the commanded sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22. Here’s an excerpt from my response:

Intellectually, I think God, as creator of everything, can do anything he wants. And since all goodness is based on his unchanging nature, “anything he wants” will always be good. Therefore, anything he commands is good also. Those are the assumptions I start out with and, if we’re really honest about it, so does everyone else. I mean, what makes this story so jarring is that it seems so contrary to the God we think we know.

I guess that’s my “moral” struggle with the story: why is the immutable God doing something so out of character? That fact that God himself is pushing for this child sacrifice puts us even outside of Job territory.

At the end of the story, we see the God we think we know doing what we think he would do (stopping the child sacrifice and providing a ram and, a couple thousand years later, a Lamb). The moral struggle here is that brief period of time between when the good God who provides Abraham a son and when the good God provides a ram. It’s a relatively short period of time, but it’s bookended by the God we think we know doing what we intuitively think he ought.

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