Minimalist Bible: The Covenant—Abraham's Faith Test Part 1
|Written by Chad -|
God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.
This poster series comes from the book of Genesis. It is a story filled with tests of faith, promises and miracles. I'm excited today to reveal The Covenant: Abraham's Faith Test Part 1, part nine of an eleven part series.
The Covenant: Abraham's Faith Test Part 1 begins in Genesis 22:1-8 (NLT) which says, "Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. 'Abraham!' God called. 'Yes,' he replied. 'Here I am.'
'Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.'
The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 'Stay here with the donkey,' Abraham told the servants. 'The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.'
So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, 'Father?'
'Yes, my son?' Abraham replied.
'We have the fire and the wood,' the boy said, 'but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?'
'God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,' Abraham answered. And they both walked on together."
The FEAR inside of us.
I think it's funny that this post lands in the same week as that of Halloween. Across the country, countless people are dressing up as goblins, witches, vampires and monsters to get a scream or some candy. Many people enjoy the thrill of seeking out fear and discovering what really makes them tremble. As for me, I'm not into that. I don't like horror flicks or haunted houses mainly because I don't like the five nights that follow. Yes, as a grown man, I still have nightmares and I don't like them!
According to Dictionary.com, fear is "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid." The key part of the definition for me is "whether the threat is real or imagined." Most of my daily fears stem from thoughts that I have manufactured in my head. To others, some of my fears may seem silly, while some are extremely real. When I share these fears with my friends and my wife, they simply reply:
- "You have this in the bag!"
- "You know that God is with you. You just need to act on it!"
- "God's got your back. Go after it!"
- "Your faith is strong and God is even stronger!"
- "Go make it happen. Stop being so scared."
- "Why are you scared? God has created you to do this. Go get it!"
I could keep going but you get the picture. I'm truly thankful for their encouragements and positive outlook, but for me, my self-manufactured fear is more horrific than an axe-murderer or a hideous monster. It is a paralyzing, consuming emotion that can stop me in my tracks. It's an emotion that attacks like a ninja chucking throwing stars at me when I try to move forward in life. Other times, it can engulf me in darkness like I'm in the bowels of a hidden dungeon. These types of self-made fear convince me that I am not man enough to do the task that's in front of me. Worst of all, these fears distract me from God and his plans for me.
As I read the scripture above, I wish I could have been a fly on the wood pile to hear the conversation between Abraham and Isaac, firsthand. I wonder if Isaac had a shaky voice when he questioned his father or if Abraham was the one with the shaky voice? Fear had to be present in both of their minds… For Isaac, he was able to see that he and his father were off to burn a sacrifice, yet there wasn't a sheep around to offer. Although his father said that God would provide a sheep, Isaac put two and two together and realized that he would be killed by his father as the sacrifice. For Abraham, he knowingly brought his own son on a trip up a mountain to sacrifice him as God had commanded, even though he was trying to convince himself that God would provide a sheep instead. Don't get me wrong, God was there the entire time and had a plan, but as humans, Isaac and Abraham had to be filled with fear in this extreme situation.
The thing is, they both willingly walked up the mountain even though they were fearful of the outcome. I want to be like them. I'm tired of allowing fear to take over of my life. I'm sick of being pulled down into that dark dungeon. I have decided to publicly announce that I'm going to defeat the fear ninja and move forward, leaving self-fabricated lies in the dust. I'm going to start believing that there is a sheep at the top of my mountain. God does not call us into a state of fear, but that of courage. He creates awesome, personalized adventures for each of us to experience full life in him. We just need to defeat the fear we put on ourselves and courageously follow God up the mountain.