“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love … . Abraham’s heart had dropped to the pit of his stomach. He could feel the sweat cold on his temples, as he thought, “Lord, could this please not be a hard request, another stretching, another move beyond my comfort zone?” He had wanted to cover his ears, but he could not cover God’s mouth, and God had continued as if he had not known Abraham’s desperate thoughts, as if it did not matter.
I watch the monster who is me pressing the blade into my brother’s flesh until his blood runs hot over my own flesh. I see my brother’s face, the shadow passing over it when he realizes what I’m about to do. I rewind and see him running towards me from across the field. He is just within arm’s reach. I can choose to embrace him, but instead I pull my knife from its sheath.
In the harem, Sarah waited. She waited to be called in to King Abimelech, or for someone — Abraham, God? — to come to her rescue. One day dragged into the next, and still nothing. God had said she and Abraham would have a child next year. Now Abraham had ruined everything. But why hadn’t God stopped him?
This part of being with Jesus can be exasperating. It’s like you never have a quiet moment. At times I want to shut it all out, go into a dark cave and just forget about all that need pushing its way into my personal space.
God did things his way and in his time, and things were not always what they seemed. He could be trusted, but he was not predictable. This much he had learned, or perhaps was still learning. How could he explain this to Sarah? How could he expect her to hope again when he could give her none of the assurances she would expect?
Rebekah was God’s perfect choice for Isaac, but she isn’t perfect and neither is Isaac.