Sunday, October 11, 2015

Genesis 22:1 "Behold, here am I"

I have taken a break from my regular studies to ponder this question "What does the Lord desire of me?" It's a reformulation of a question I was recently asked to ponder: "What does the Lord desire of us when there is a revealed doctrine, commandment, or church policy that we do not understand, or even disagree with?" Personally I prefer the rephrased version, not just because it is my own, but also I feel it is more open to any answer the Lord may inspire. In pondering this question, I have been looking at scripture stories where someone either followed or didn't follow specific commandments. This led me first to the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac.

In Genesis 22:1, the story begins:
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

I had never noticed this language before and was immediately reminded of the story of the preexistence. In Abraham 3, the Father lays out His plan of salvation and then asks, "Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me."

I believe the answer to "What does the Lord desire of me?" is ME. The Lord desires me to become someone ready to do whatever He asks. For father Abraham, his test started the moment God called him by name. Abraham recognized God's voice and responded with a willing attitude.

In this verse I also appreciate God calling Abraham by name. This life is an immensely personal proving ground. Although all there are similarities in the human experience, in the end each mortal journey is unique. Our Father in Heaven calls us individually wherever He finds us and asks us to make personal sacrifices that no one else could make. The question is, how will we respond?

James Faulconer in The Old Testament Made Harder: Scripture Study Questions writes that Abraham's response "means literally, 'See me here.' In Arabic even today a person answers a call with something similar--the equivalent of 'Ready'--and that is part of the import of this response."

When God personally calls to me, am I willing to answer, "Behold, here am I"?

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