Genesis 22:1-14 - link to the NRSV text
Sorry, but this isn't really a full post this week. I'm out of town, and while I had hoped I might get something up, it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
Some brief thoughts on the binding of Isaac, however:
- This is a difficult text, one that truly challenges us in our modern sensibilities. If you're feeling uncomfortable in trying to preach it, that's even more reason to try and tackle it! It's in wrestling with such texts that we are often given new insight into the life of God and the biblical witness.
- Don't shrink from the problematic parts of the text. Often we'll try and gloss over difficult portions of the narrative, but the text itself reads a certain way. Let the story tell its story: don't anticipate God's intervention, instead immerse yourself into the characters of Abraham and Isaac and what they were thinking. How is Abraham feeling, knowing that he is giving up the promise? Does Isaac have an inkling about what is going on? Don't jump ahead too quickly to salve our own discomfort with the story.
- Ultimately, the question does remain before us: why does God test Abraham in such a way? I don't know if I have a great answer to that, but it's one of the primary questions that will emerge from this story, especially in contemporary interpretation.
Have a blessed weekend, and I'll be back with you next week!