Moving Mountains
 
In Genesis 22, we read of the near-sacrifice of Isaac.  There's Christology behind this account as it points to Christ, but there's something else that we can learn by reading it.  By reading it, we learn how to face contradiction.  One of the most favoured weapons in the atheist's arsenal is to throw some imagined contradiction in the Bible at you.  In some cases, it's obvious that the "contradiction" they throw at us is just a lie they came to by ignoring the context.  In some cases, it's not as easy.  So, what do we do?  Let's look at what Abraham did.

In this account with Abraham, it seems like God is contradicting Himself.  He promised Abraham a son through whom he would have as many descendants as there are stars, He blesses him with Isaac, and then He tells him to sacrifice his son.  When a seemingly problematic contradiction like this happens to us, what do we do?  I'm prone to think that God is testing us, because look at Abraham.  We know God was testing Abraham.  And what did Abraham do?  In Romans, Paul records that "in hope he believed against hope" (Romans 4:18).  In spite of this apparent contradiction, he clung to the promise of God.  We cling to God in the midst of contradiction — to His promises and putting our trust in Him rather than our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

This is exactly what Abraham did.  It's not misplaced optimism; it's faith in the midst of suffering.  Abraham was silent; he did not exercise false happiness and neither did he question God.  When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, he didn't try reasoning with Him or say, "But, but, You promised!"  Instead, directly after God gave him this command, "Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac" (Genesis 22:3a).  He did exactly as God told him to without questioning Him.  Abraham clung to the promise of God.  He knew that God would fulfil His promise in whatever way He saw fit.  Abraham didn't know how God would do it; he just had faith that He would.  And as we know, God sent the Angel of the Lord to stop Abraham because God would not allow Abraham to make such a sacrifice because not only would that not be enough to cover the sins of the world, but also because God was already going to do that for us with His only Son, Jesus Christ.

So, in the midst of contradiction, hope against all hope.  Cling to the promise of God that is in Christ.  When you're faced with what seems to be a contradiction, know that 1) it is not a contradiction but simply a misunderstanding of Scripture, and 2) it is a test of your faith.  Cling to your faith in Christ that His Word is inerrant, and by that faith He will make it clear to you.
 


Comments

09/15/2016 7:26am

There are many contradictions in the Holy Bible.

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We may not understand why we are facing difficulties in life we don’t deserve. We tend to ask God, and get angry at Him. If we let our faith work at those times, we may not get answers. But, we will feel at ease like the calmness after the storm. We should remember that everything happening in our lives, God has His plans and purpose.

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01/17/2017 9:47am

I like the story of Abraham and Sarra. I agree that faith is a mustard seed.

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01/17/2017 9:50am

There are a lot of contradictions in Bible and I know there are a lot there.

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06/29/2017 12:46am

Contradictions make people confused about the truth. We cannot deny the fact that as a person living in a very corrupted world, we have that so much questions and we have those unending complaints, reactions, curiousness and confusions. God has never set limitations to our questions. It is because that He knows us too well. He knows that we cannot avoid questioning situations or we cannot easily understand things at the same time. But since His glory is in a continuous revelation, He satisfies our hearts with His words. His words that will answer all our unending questions and will calm the unwavering doubts of our hearts. God is still good.

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