The Lord Tells Abraham
1 Some years later God decided to test Abraham, so he spoke to him.
Abraham answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
2 The Lord said, “Go get Isaac, your only son, the one you dearly love! Take him to the land of Moriah, and I will show you a mountain where you must sacrifice him to me on the fires of an altar.” 3So Abraham got up early the next morning and chopped wood for the fire. He put a saddle on his donkey and set out with Isaac and two servants for the place where God had told him to go.
4Three days later Abraham looked off in the distance and saw the place. 5He told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey, while my son and I go over there to worship. We will come back.”
6Abraham put the wood on Isaac's shoulder, but he carried the hot coals and the knife. As the two of them walked along, 7-8Isaac said, “Father, we have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”
“My son,” Abraham answered, “God will provide the lamb.”
The two of them walked on, and
In my role as a political staffer, I once helped with a private symphony concert and reception, held in honour of the visiting Prince Charles and his wife.
I checked invitations and ID, and after the music began, slipped into a seat at the back, behind a host of news media holding cameras and microphones aloft.
Only guests with a red sticker on their invitations would have the privilege of speaking with the royal visitors at the reception that followed. As the dignitaries strolled between tall elegantly decorated tables, visiting with guests, my role was to enforce that protocol, using hawk-like observance and delicate tact.
Duchess Camilla spent several minutes at my table. Not once did she meet my eye. She seemed to recognize my stance. She knew her role, and she knew mine: I was there to serve.
In contrast, my husband, an invited, red-stickered guest that evening, sat near the front of the symphony hall. At the reception, mere feet from me, he visited for several minutes with both royal visitors and our Prime Minister. I was not permitted a word—that wasn’t my role.
God issued Abraham a summons: meet me on Moriah. The servants must have sensed something irregular. Did they wonder, making their way up that mountain, what God was up to? Would they see him?
On reaching the mountaintop, Abraham gave them their assignment:“Stay here with the donkey, while my son and I go over there to worship(22:5).”Then he made one of the most faith-filled statements in history: “WE will come back.”
Come back they did, and those whose role it was to stand by the donkeys indeed see God on that mountain. They heard first the history-shaping story of his miraculous provision, of Abraham’s justified faith and Isaac’s resurrection from his near-death experience. On the reverse trip, perhaps even the donkeys skipped.
Director of life and eternity, give me the humility to fulfill whatever role you’ve given me—even when it means “standing by the donkeys.”And open my eyes to see you there, too.