|Abraham - the journey of Faith|
(Lev 18:21 NKJV) 'And you shall not let any of your descendants pass
through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God:
I am the LORD.
"Did God really ask for such sacrifices leading to violence to resolve human conflicts." asked Bruce Chilton in Abraham’s curse: Child Sacrifice”The bible does not shy away from the innate human religious tendencies to pay and sacrifice the ultimate to please the ancient gods. That was the way of the demonic worship of the god Molech that demands the adherents the sacrifice of the children.This is closely linked in the bible with the same sex acts as they sacrificed their babies to the spiritual god and at the same time have sex with the temple priests so that they can be posessed by the spirit within. It was an abomination because it was a religious act of having sex with the gods through the pagan priests. It had nothing to do with same sex orientation or the "born Eunuchs" mentioned by Jesus.
In the modern 21st century, we see children sacrificed as child bombers as if pleasing to the religious gods. It is no different than 3000 years ago because the same spiritual forces are involved demanding that we give our lives, to demean the sacred value and sanctity attributed by God. They are trying to destroy the image of God in man.
(2 Chr 3:1 NKJV) Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
God asked Abraham for the sacrifice of Isaac not that we are to follow it as a religious worship of the ancient gods, but for the very opposite that God actually did not desire for the sacrifice but that God Himself should bear the sacrifice in His Son Jesus Christ. The very place that Abraham wanted to sacrifice Isaac was the place Jesus died for us in Jerusalem. God Himself became our sacrifice that we need not sacrifice others or ourselves to please God.
Religion boasts a sacrifice of ourselves often leading to violence and even child sacrifice to appease the gods. It is based on what we do, and can do for the gods who in turn will bless us if they see our sacrifice sufficient. In some modern religious faith, to be a martyr is a guaranteed path to heaven.
The fact that Abraham followed through God’s test of faith at Mt Moriah (some historians claiming to be near Jerusalem) caused him incredibly. Imagined, Isaac being associated and given away to be sacrificed which was very common for children to be sacrificed to the deities. It was a shock to Isaac and certainly to Sarah for he was a child of promise that God will bless Abraham to make his descendants a great nation.
(Gen 22:19 NIV) Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Abraham left Mt Moriah without Isaac. It appears that Isaac refused to speak to Abraham after the incident, and so did Sarah with Abraham seemingly losing His family. It was only when Abraham died, there was a family reunion of sorts with His sons Isaac and Ishmael.
(Gen 25:8 NIV) Then Abraham breathed his last and
died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was
gathered to his people.
Did Abraham mistakenly hear God? Yet the angels bear testimony that God was testing Abraham. The angels spoke of Abraham having one son? Surely they did not recognise Ishmael who was born of Hagar, the maid. God doesn’t honour our carnality but sees our action on the promises of faith. So it wasn’t a lie that the Angels say that Isaac was Abraham’s only son.
The Islamic faith asserts that it was Ishmael and not Isaac that was Abraham’s son, which bears witness to the fact that Ishmael also suffered and felt rejection in the desert, and even long for the honour to be the one chosen to be sacrificed to God. But the occasion to sacrifice ourselves is long past and our willingness to die a martyr doesn’t make us Abraham’s only legitimate son. The Arabs attempts to drive the Jews into the sea in the 1967 war even though there were related because the scar of illegitimacy was too great.
The declaration by the angels that Isaac was Abraham’s only son was not exactly correct, but was deliberately pronounced for our sake, because it speaks of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. Just because God is a loving God and is Almighty doesn’t give Him license to act as He deems fit. For the sake of righteousness, God’s action must be justified and in Abraham justification was found because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son. God’s love for us was manifested in His willingness to die and suffer for us, but still the price needs to be paid for our sins so that the law of righteousness was fulfilled. God so loved us that He made a way possible for reconciliation not that Hell doesn’t exist, nor would a loving God simply permit us to suffer in hell.
God often ask and tells us things of our lives that are plain shocking. To bring out the step and the position of faith in Abraham, He had to test the sincerity of Abraham’s faith when for many they would have denied God’s request as Isaac was the child of promise.
Abraham reached the penultimate act of faith at Mt Moriah, yet his relationship with God seems profoundly affected as he doesn’t seem to be as closely attached to God thereafter. In the Christian sense, he no longer attends cell group, prayer meeting, public outreach meeting, weekly seminars, and Sunday services on a very regular basis.
Abraham needed time to be with himself, and to live a life he was supposed to without being always in the spot light of needing to do God’s will. And God didn’t seem to insist and Abraham had another wife after Sarah died and bored many children thereafter (when even having one child was nearly impossible earlier) not because he was not as close to God as he had been but because he had honoured God at Mt Moriah. God’s love, mercy and grace flowed into of His life as a result of that one event at Mt Moriah.
(Gen 22:16 NKJV) and said: "By Myself I have sworn,
says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld
your son, your only son;
Abraham’s faith and zeal for God led him up to Mt Moriah where he sacrificed all, even his only son. It was not only sacrificing his son, for in Isaac was his life work and descendants as well. When he chose to sacrifice Isaac, he had to die first and chose to sacrifice himself. After the incident at Mt. Moriah, Abraham left the scene, quiet, dead on the inside, and no closer to the promise that God gave him that through Isaac, a great nation shall come forth. He hardly talked to God thereafter with the same passion and fondness he had used to. Yet, the sacrifice at Mt. Moriah changed history, and forever identified Abraham as the foremost man of faith in the bible.
Many of us were once fervent for God, attended multiple cell groups, seminars by famous pastors from all over the world, and when we pray heaven seems to come down on earth. We gave generously to the church building fund. Our faith and zeal for God led us to a point of grace when we begin to realise that we could not hide being a gay person. We either approach it with the carnal/human approach by attending ex-gay groups, or like Abraham through the leap of faith trusting God to accept our same sex orientation even though it would likely destroy our zeal for God and suffer much rejection. For many the revelation that we are gay takes all our spiritual strength to accept and when we do decide to accept the fact and trust God by faith, we are all but worn out. We leave the closeness of relationship with God, dazed and speechless.
Surely we would have asked the same question as Abraham did, venturing off into the unknown half a century earlier by faith, and paying so much to sacrifice our lives to trust God, yet at the end all our are promises empty when we come to accept that we are gay. It is not that our walk of faith and zeal for God was in vain, ,for it was a journey that helped us reach the point of grace, the point of faith to accept ourselves because the love and faith of God that has been planted deep in our hearts.
Many of us are walking by the Spirit and by faith in God just to survive because we are gay. God today is not asking us to give more, for we have given more than enough.We have given all when we come to accept that we are gay. It was a step to sacrifice ourselves in trusting in God, His love and acceptance. We had wanted to deny our gayness and reject ourselves yet the Spirit of the Lord constrains us.
God is asking us the question tonight, “what do you want from Me?”, “How do you want Me to bless you?". For we have come to a position of bearing so much pain and suffering, so much lost in ourselves, our lives taken from us, our faith sacrificed because we are gay. It takes an amazing step of faith to trust when in pain and lost. The incident at Mt Moriah took away so much from Abraham and Isaac that they too continued to struggle to maintain their former passion and zeal in God.
“what do you want me to do in your Life?” says the Lord of Host. It is no longer what we sacrifice or can do for God that matters, but what He can do in us when our lives are emptied to be filled whole again by Him. God renew us, fill us again with your oil of annointing. Fill us in the areas of our lives where the locust have eaten away.
Fill us up Lord with the Spirit of wholeness and completeness where
we find peace with ourselves. Touch us Lord, take away all our
bitterness, the deep sense of lost that the locust have eaten in our
lives, replace it Lord with your quenching living waters of the Holy
Spirit. Feed us Lord with the bread and wine, the broken body of Christ
and His life giving blood.
Fill us up Lord with the Spirit of wholeness and completeness where we find peace with ourselves. Touch us Lord, take away all our bitterness, the deep sense of lost that the locust have eaten in our lives, replace it Lord with your quenching living waters of the Holy Spirit. Feed us Lord with the bread and wine, the broken body of Christ and His life giving blood.