One Bible story about Roots
The story that runs through the entire Bible is the story of God's campaign to bless the world through Abraham, the patriarch of God's campaign team.
Abraham shows us what it means to trust God's promise to bless the world and (the harder part) trust the campaign process as God outlines it for us, even when it goes directly against the strategy we would have drawn up ourselves.
God's campaign strategy is the "Trust Strategy" or the "Abraham Strategy." Abraham is the "father" of all those who are willing to trust God more than they trust their own desires or their own knowledge.
Of the many stories we have about Abraham (Genesis 11.27 - 25.8), his trust in God is most obvious in the following story about his willingness to give up his son Isaac as a human sacrifice at God's request. (Spoiler alert: it didn't happen.) The twist at the end of this story sets the Roots Rhythm for us.
Abraham makes his son Isaac a human sacrifice, almost
Genesis 22.1-18, The Message
Note about Bible versions: We use The Message version of the Bible below because it tells the story so vividly. If you prefer a different translation of the Bible using more traditional language, many are available for free on sites like Biblegateway.com.
1 After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!”
“Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.”
2 He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.”
3-5 Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants and his son Isaac. He had split wood for the burnt offering. He set out for the place God had directed him. On the third day he looked up and saw the place in the distance. Abraham told his two young servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I are going over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac his son to carry. He carried the flint and the knife. The two of them went off together.
7 Isaac said to Abraham his father, “Father?”
“Yes, my son.”
“We have flint and wood, but where’s the sheep for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham said, “Son, God will see to it that there’s a sheep for the burnt offering.” And they kept on walking together.
9-10 They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son.
11 Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes, I’m listening.”
12 “Don’t lay a hand on that boy! Don’t touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn’t hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me.”
13 Abraham looked up. He saw a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 Abraham named that place God-Yireh (God-Sees-to-It). That’s where we get the saying, “On the mountain of God, he sees to it.”
15-18 The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear—God’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.”
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