EHP Day 15-Friendship With God Part 2
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
During my 10-year run with Coach Dan McCarney as chaplain for the Iowa State University football team, I (David Staff) delivered many a 15-minute chapel talk. Coach desired something spiritual just before the team boarded the bus for the stadium. For reasons I cannot today recall, one such talk focused on Abraham’s tenacious willingness to obey and honor God…no matter what. To obey even if it meant the sacrificial slaughter of his only natural-born son.
You’re thinking, “You unpacked Abraham’s stunning obedience in a 15-minute talk? Are you kidding me?” No doubt full justice to the ancient episode was not served, but one young coach felt the impact. Trina had just delivered their firstborn, a beautiful boy, the unquestionable delight of this young coach’s heart. Later, in the locker room, Tony looked me in the eye to say, “I could never obey God if He asked that of me.” “Yeah,” I replied. “Abraham’s faith was amazing.”
God’s request called for graduate-level trust, but it was not issued in a vacuum. God and Abraham had been friends for 40 years. Been through thick and thin. Victories, failures, fantastic promises from God met with a growing confidence in God. Hebrews 11 indicates that Abraham was willing to obey even this request because he unflinchingly trusted God to raise Isaac from the dead, out of the ashes of his sacrifice (cf. Heb.11:19). While Abraham’s feelings are not recorded, his obedience is–the product of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly investments in a trusting friendship with God. And the Spirit does not shrink from calling us to developing—day after day—that same kind of faith-filled friendship.