Love – infinite series
What does it mean to love. In my early years, love to me was something that was shared between a husband and wife, an intimate love with sparks and romantic spring. Through the years I was shown another love, a different love than that which I envisioned, one that I experienced on a daily bases while growing up. The love of my parents, family, friends and many people who invested their time and energy into my life. This was love as I knew it in my early years of life. Though there came a time in my life where I found love from the creator of this world. The love of God, the love that no other could give. An undeniable, unexplainable, intense love that changed my life literally forever. I’ve spent years trying to understand this love, still trying and experiencing new timely love from my Lord and Savior during life’s ups and downs. Not long after being introduced to my eternal love, God brought me love with an amazing woman who’s shown me love in ways I’d never imagine and experience. The love I thought I knew about in my younger years between a husband and a wife, bliss. Then we had our first child and then our second. Love that comes deep within the soul. An intense love with selfless actions. A love that is unconditional. This is love that I’ve experienced, this is incredible love that spans across many years. It’s something that I’ve grown to respect daily. But there is more that I want to share…
I don’t believe we can fully comprehend true love. We can get a glimpse of it but do we fully understand it or fully experience love. Abraham is one who can say that he experienced the love of his Father in a way that none of us have. And to be truly honest with you, I’m not sure I would want to go through what God called Abraham to do. I don’t like to say that, because I’m basically denying wanting the experience of this thing called love in a deeper sense.
God called Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son. Stop! Did your stomach just drop? Did you cringe when reading that? Have you ever stopped and wondered, if this was your calling, would you follow through? By the way, I don’t believe God would call any of us to sacrifice our son. I will get to that is a moment. Now if you know a little about Abraham’s son, you know that he was born of Abraham’s wife Sarah, very late in their lives. In fact, well beyond childbearing years. And as you read about this event, you see that Sarah and Abraham actually laughed when they heard that she would have a child. As I think many of us would laugh (or cry) if we were told we were going to have a baby at the age of 90 and 100 years old. Sarah went through drastic measures to have a child before having one of her own through birth. She had her husband sleep with another woman in order to have a child. She longed for a child of her own birth. I can only imagine the countless number of times that she prayed to God for a child and it seemed she finally came to a point where she gave up. But God is faithful and gave Abraham and Sarah the promise that they longed for, a son, Isaac.
Now lets get back to the calling. God called Abraham to sacrifice his only son. At that time, we infer, that Isaac is a young adult. Because he is referred to as a lad (young man) and carried the wood they will use for the sacrifice.
Abrabam 22:4-6 reads – On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.
I can’t help but think of a similar story that happened many many years after this event where an only son, in His adult years, carried the wood that was used for his own sacrifice.
We hear the notion to “fear the Lord” and many have a slightly skewed understanding of what this means. Reading the story of Abraham and seeing his actions, in my mind is one example of what it means to fear the Lord, to stand in awe of, to revere, to have so much astonishment and awe of our God to take your one and only son up the mountain to offer him up as an obedient trusting sacrifice. This is one way in what it means to fear the Lord. This act illustrates the love that Abraham has for God, that Isaac has for his father and the overwhelming love that God has for each of us. God spoke to Abraham just before he sacrificed Isaac not to touch the boy and provided a ram to offer instead as a sacrifice. There is a sacrific that God allowed. The final. God sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ as the final sacrific. The event that changed the course of history and has given us freedom. There is no greater love than a man who gives his life for another. Jesus gave His life for the sins of the world, so that we can have life. An eternal life with God in His family.Why is this? Why is it that someone dying is the ultimate display of love? For the longest time I didn’t understand it and I can’t say that I completely understand it. Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?
Let me ask you this – What do you value the most? Your stuff? Your wealth? Your pets? Your Job? Your photo albums? Actually your photo albums are probably the closest out of all the others listed, because it contains photos of what you value the most. LIFE. We value life the most out of anything on this earth. If we didn’t have it, there would be nothing that we even “could” value. If you are a parent or even if you’re not, you would be willing to give up your own life if it meant saving your child or childrens life. This is just a fact of life, a human instinct if you will, that is engraved in our character. It only makes sense that God, to whom we were made in His image, would demonstrate His ultimate love by sending His one and only Son to the cross, showing us His love through the only extreme way we can imagine and value, life. What other way could He have shown His love? If we stop and think about it, love is life and God gave us his love through life.
Read Genesis 22