|Taken in front of my house: full moon at night|
In Genesis 22 we hear a story of faith that needs unpacking. Some admire the faith of Abraham, who acts upon an impossible, insensible, insane command of God that his only son Isaac be sacrificed as a burnt offering.
Well, this is high stakes testing that is not easily answered or understood. What purpose is there for God to test Abraham in such a bizarre way? A human sacrifice can be even asked? What kind of father is this who does not ask God to explain about this? Is his faith, however we may understand, more important than his son?
Did Abraham really believe that God would provide something at a last moment and save Isaac? If he believed so, why did he not talk to his son directly? If he did so, Isaac would engage with his father. In fact, Abraham lied to his son, saying that God would provide for the sacrifice.
But after that he bound his son and took a sword to strike him for a burnt offering. He did it so, but he was stopped by God. From Abraham's point, he already killed his son though not physically. He committed a killing already to his very son. Is his faith more important than his son? Does a father have rights to do so? Where is Isaac? Is he a robot? What did he say or feel after this horrible moment of near-death? I want to hear from Isaac. But the text is silent about it.
Even if Abraham believed that God would resurrect him after Isaac's sacrifice, Isaac will not be the same person as before, because he went through his father's lies, blind faith, and the horrible scenes of human killing and sacrifice. Though Isaac was saved from being killed, he suffered too much already, something that he could hardly recover from the damage done to him.
Isaac is a person who needs to understand his father and God. Who can speak for Isaac if not his father or God?
Now what this story means is up to the reader! What kind of faith model do you see here? Or, is this story not the story of faith but that of fear and blind obedience?