All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

Faith takes risks

Dear Friends,
It is true that sometimes we don’t understand why God does something or why he allows something to happen. One writer has titled this “faith faces the perplexity of God.” We know that God’s people were warned as they entered the promised land to be different to the surrounding nations. For example in Leviticus 18:21 they are told to not sacrifice their children to Molek - the Canaanite false God because this profanes the name of God. So at first glance we are confused as to why God asks Abraham to sacrifice His only son. It seems to go against all God’s purposes and promises leading up to this event. But we know the outcome of the story that God was testing Abraham to see if he would hold back his only son.
We notice that in 22:3-18 Abraham obeys God’s Word. The text doesn’t indicate that Abraham questioned God. Hebrews 11:19 interprets this event that Abraham considered that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead. It is extraordinary faith to keep going and not hold anything back from the Lord. It is a relief to see that God provided a lamb instead of Isaac. The story is unique in the sense that God was testing Abraham to see how deep His faith went and if there was anything he would hold back. Abraham is unique in many ways but there are still lessons for us. It is possible to see Isaac as a type of Christ but it is perhaps better to see Isaac as representing Israel because in the end Isaac is not sacrificed because a ram is substituted and that is what happens with us. We all hang under God’s judgement and the good news is that just like Isaac God has provided a substitute for us and He is the Lord Jesus. Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21 - God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. At our 5pm service we are looking at a number of passages from 1 John 3 & 4 which are connected by the theme of love. In 3:11-18 John speaks of the message from the beginning which is to love one another. He cites the example of Cain who murdered his own brother. Hate is such a destructive force. Hate destroys relationships and John is saying that hate is on a continuum with murder. The chief motivation for love is that Jesus laid down His life for us and that is why we do the same for others. The death of Jesus is a sacrifice for sins which brings forgiveness and is also both the model and the power for us to love others. God’s Blessing David O’Mara