“We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Genesis 22:5
Matt Redman’s song “Blessed Be Your Name” has helped many voice the mystery of worshiping God when we’re suffering. Though we feel “pain in the offering,” yet blessed is God’s name. We may croak the words through tears or gritted teeth, but the act of singing can inform our emotions.
Abraham names what he is about to do as worship. He doesn’t know why God would ask him to sacrifice his son, but he trusts in the Lord. Biblical commentators remind us that child sacrifice would not have appeared as shocking to Abraham as it does to us, for back then it was common for deities to demand this as an act of worship – though of course the true and living God is not just any deity.
Note also what Abraham says to his servants: “We will come back to you.” Did he sense that God would stop him from killing his son? We don’t know, but we can marvel at his faith, finding encouragement that a man who once lied to Pharaoh, calling his wife his sister, or who another time tried to fulfill God’s promises through his slave, is now a man of great faith.
How might we worship the Lord today, even if we are walking the road of suffering? May we affirm him as our loving Father who wants the best for us.
Prayer: Lord God, you sacrificed your only son that our slate might be wiped clean. Thank you for your love.