Today I read through Genesis 22-24. There are three interesting stories in there. The first one is very well known, about Abraham taking his son Isaac to offer as a sacrifice to God, and God stopping him. Abraham’s faith becomes what saves him, and God promises to bless him.
Then his wife Sarah dies. Abraham has to buy property to bury her, and is able to do so even though people didn’t normally sell property very much at that time.
Finally, Abraham sends a servant back to his home land to find a bride for Isaac. The servant goes back, and God provides Rebekkah for Isaac through a series of small miracles, and they are married.
I look at these three, and begin asking “What is God trying to teach us from these stories? What’s the point?” I think there are a couple of things. One, God is proving that He keeps His promises. He told Abraham that HE would make a nation out of Abraham’s family. Abraham wouldn’t do it, but He would. And so, He provides for the families needs, comforting them in death, and providing the wife who is going to lead this new family / nation. God is proven to keep His promises, even when He has to go to what we would consider great lengths, and use impossible means to make it happen. He is faithful. So what promises does He make to us? He will never leave us. If we live life His way, He will care for us and bless us. He will give us wisdom when we ask for it. He will give us peace in the middle of storms. He promises all of these things, and He has proven Himself faithful.
Secondly, nothing Abraham does is “normal”. He lives very, very differently than the people around him, even if it means offending people. He is willing to trust God by sacrificing his miracle boy. He doesn’t accept the gift offered, but instead pays for the tomb. He doesn’t choose a wife from the local girls, but sends hundreds of miles away for a wife sight unseen. These things weren’t, and aren’t, normal. But He does them. There is simply no way around the fact that if we want to follow God’s ways, it will look different and weird to some people. But it’s because they have accepted destructive ways as “normal”. And we aren’t built to live destructive lives. We are built to follow God. We have to redefine normal, and follow Him. What are you being called to do that doesn’t look “normal”? Why are you doing it?