ALIVE: Chapter 39 Abraham the Great

Abraham suppressed the logical thought that shouted to him in his heart that his love for Isaac was good, and that to kill Isaac, to obliterate the son of his promise, would not only be evil, but nearly
suicidal. To kill his precious son, because God asked him to, was to defy all knowledge of good and evil.

When he set aside his knowledge of good and evil, Abraham entered the mysterious realm of faith and trust. In that realm Abraham was given a foretaste of immortality, of being alive in an incorruptible way because he had chosen to replace his will with that of his immortal God. It was only a test.

After he descended Mt. Moriah with his son Isaac in hand, Abraham's life resumed its ordinary texture and tone as an old wanderer and squatter. Slow steady rotations of sun and moon watched dizzying cycles of eating and sleeping, working and resting.

Not many moons later, Abraham's precious Sarah passed away in Kiriath-arba (Hebron). Sarah fell into a deep sleep, into darkness and then plunged into a deeper place of shadows from which she could not return. She looked down upon her lifeless old body with nostalgia and then wafted over to Abraham and hovered near him while he wept.

Filled with alarm and grief, Abraham asked the Hittites for a patch of land to bury her in. He asked for the cave of Machpelah owned by Ephron the son of Zohar. The Hittites regarded Abraham as a mighty prince among them, so Ephron offered to give Abraham the cave, but Abraham insisted on paying for it. Four hundred shekels of silver passed from Abraham's treasure chest to Ephron's.

More than sixty years after God first told Abraham that he and his offspring would possess all the land he could see, Abraham owned a cave in which to lay his sister and wife Sarai - Sarah.

God picked out Abraham from a field of ordinary men, as He had Noah centuries before, and then lured him repeatedly with the same promise of land and a royal lineage. By withholding and then promising land and children from Sarah and Abraham, God fed a yearning with which He kept Abraham alert to His presence.

Starting with Abraham, God marked a body of people to be His control group. He had created humankind in His glorious, intelligent and loving image and likeness for companionship. He longed to live in a world teaming with love and invention, with discourse and beauty. God loved nature and was proud of it, but His human gods had to master nature, not be subservient victims of it as they had become. God wanted to restore His image and likeness, and immortality, to humankind using their own free will day by day battling with and conquering the corrosive power of the blinding knowledge of good and evil.

The trusting moment Abraham raised his arm to stab precious Isaac began the process of reversing the distrusting moment when Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit. God knew the process would take centuries, but He had time.

The mark of the covenant, circumcision, was a genius way in which a nation of people could be identified as Abrahamic, particularly before they formed a distinct tribe with the temple and the law.

To be the son or daughter of the great I AM, is to have a strong ego. Unless that ego uses its equally strong will to unite itself to the will of God, then it is subject to death. It is enslaved by the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. To oppose or ignore the Source of Life, is to descend the chain of life below innocent animals, and like them to be victims of nature, and fodder for evil.

Everyone is born. Everyone with his or her own life chooses what is most important to him or herself. To grow here, and shrink there, to blow in the wind, or to burrow deep roots.

In a relationship with the almighty sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, keep in mind that He is in it for the long game. As we beg God to satisfy our longings, cast a thought for how our lives could be useful to Him. For many, that is not good enough; there is too much room for doubt and disappointment. Well, perhaps that's why Jesus said the road is narrow and few go there to eternal life. Yes, to some it's a big gamble, to others their ears are always alert to words from above for guidance and ways they can serve the Creator.

Abraham died at 175 years old, 38 years after Sarah, and was buried with her in the cave that they owned without ever having received the promised land.

Abraham gained very little in his lifetime. He never owned land; he had only one son with his primary wife Sarah. Yet, all of God's promises to Abraham came true. Abraham became the forefather of kings and of the King of kings. His children through both Ishmael and Isaac indeed posses all the land Abraham could see from where he stood on that day when it was first promised to him.

God is trustworthy. We who want to be truly Alive should be too.