This week is the story of Abraham and the Binding of Isaac. The website for the Narrative Lectionary puts it mildly when it says “this text has long occasioned theological and pastoral problems for readers” (Terrance E. Freithem). I’m going to address those concerns in the sermon this week. No easy outs here! We face the difficult texts head on.
Because of that, we must also acknowledge another bit of the text that is hard. We implicitly seem to believe in the omniscience of God. God knows all things, nothing is hidden from him. But the Genesis text reveals that God’s response to Abraham is “now I know that you fear God.” NOW God knows? Before, God…didn’t know?
In Abraham’s movements, external and internal (did you notice that Abraham in unusually quiet?), God perceives the faith of Abraham. And yet God has also prepared in advance – a ram, stuck in the bushes, ready to be used for that moment when God perceives. Does God know all things or know all possibilities?!
Want to talk more about this? Come to Word Up Wednesday! You have questions, and I have answers to share!
~ Pastor Kevin