This being my special day, I have spent a good deal of time pondering what to write in commemoration. Seeing that I had sometime ago restricted myself to qwertying only things pertaining to the religious on Sabbath days, the choice I was to make became all the more obvious, only that I must then modify it to accommodate a mention of the other thing I would’ve spent time blogging about had this day not been a Sabbath. Interestingly, these set in the series on Bible Stories are such that mirrors my life, to an extent in the past year of it, and writing about it, will just about do justice to the story on a special day of my life.
In my last treatise, I dug into Abraham’s trial stopping short of the aftermath of that sacrifice, not without drawing your attention to the fact that all temptations, trials, and tests are of YAHWEH. If that’s too hard for you to swallow then consider that YAHWEH is aware of whatever condition or situation you’re passing through (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is why it is to HIM that you must return for help to overcome the trials and challenges you’re currently facing. The past year has been a very trying one for me, from two deaths within six months of very close family members, to failures in two lines of businesses, to an economic downturn related low patronage in my nine-to-five, to continued disappointment in the lineal, to betrayals from a friend and also from a mentor, to near eviction from my home over rent, amongst a myriad of challenges that makes me look back at the period as my YEAR OF THE LOCUST. Interestingly, my thirty-eighth took off with great promise like I was going to be unstoppable only for me to experience a crash of some sorts, almost after takeoff like the space-bound shuttle, “Challenger” that didn’t even make it out of the earth’s atmosphere before exploding midair.
Today, it is my intention to gladden my heart as well as yours with what happened to Abraham after he successfully passed his test and hope we will be admonished to see tests/temptations/trials/challenges/problems the way Abraham saw them so we can as well be partakers of the blessings that follows trials. If we look at tests as the end in itself, then we may never overcome them, however if we look at tests as a part of a whole, understanding that there’s a part beyond it, then we are definitely on our way to seeing the back and end of that test. Abraham understood these things, hence when he was tested of YAHWEH to sacrifice his son, the same one he spent a lifetime looking to get, he didn’t query YAHWEH’s decision but went ahead to fulfill HIS will as directed [Ref: BIBLE STORIES (19)].
After sacrificing the ram that YAHWEH provided Abraham in lieu of his son, Isaac “… the angel of YAHWEH called Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, ‘by myself have I sworn’ saith YAHWEH, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:” (Genesis 22: 15-16). Now, hol’up!That there, was the purpose of Abraham’s trial, if you’d allow me to step in briefly, and remains at the core of the many trials and temptations we face as humans today. That is, bordering on whether we are willing or unwilling to let go, especially of things we hold dear or prefer to spend time with or at, as the case may be. Losing those we love can be very trying (many have lost faith for this reason), but it’s our ability to let go regardless that helps during the grieving process. That also goes for failures in business or in other aspects of life, including things we want and need but that continue to elude us. Abraham didn’t mind to lose his son, as long as it was YAHWEH’s will. It’s that kind of life, without inordinate attachment to anything living or inanimate that HE requires of us, that of TOTAL SUBMISSION to his will regardless of how not so palatable it will impact our lives at the present. Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of thing you’d hear in your church, only that in life it’s the rule rather than exception, i.e. that sacrifice almost always precedes blessings, with the alternative, almost unnatural.
In recognizing Abraham’s sacrifice YAHWEH said, as recorded in Genesis 22:17, “that in blessing I will bless thee (apparent not only in his life but that of his children over many generations), and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven
and as the sand which is upon the sea shore (again evident in genealogy of those who claim to be Abraham’s children worldwide, by blood, marriage, even adoption physically as well as spiritually); and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (as Israel today holds a part of Sinai of Egypt, and the Golan heights of Syria for instance, states that were part of the Arab countries whose wish would be for annihilation of Israel at a time it is having frosty relationship with the Americans only to become engulfed in internal strife on all sides while Israel became spectator only).” As if that wasn’t enough, YAHWEH went on to say that, “… and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (this post will not be enough to list all the contributions the children of Abraham through his son Isaac and on to Israel have made to advance man’s civilization, I refer you to the Nobel Foundation)”, and all that just “….because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18).
Unfortunately, sacrifice has been monetized in places of worship, and as long as you can always provide the money, you can go about your life as you wish, without sacrifice nor keeping YAHWEH’s laws and commandments. Once the gluttony of the pastor is satisfied with your tithe, then you’re in the good books of G-d. That, my friends is against everything that that scriptures hold as true and right. Sacrificing for YAHWEH entails far more than paying tithes, to include even as much as devoting time to him. Such sacrifices will enable YAHWEH’s blessings, and because most of those aren’t temporal like in acquisition of wealth and property, many who have sacrificed fail to see that they are been blessed in much more permanent and spiritual ways than they think, and may even lose faith, acquire those things they long for elsewhere, then lose their soul, even while thinking they are been blessed of YAHWEH.
This therefore is my message for you on my thirty-ninth, that though tribulations might tarry all night, joy will come in the morning. If we don’t lose hope, if we focus on the prize and not on the enormity of the challenge. Yes joy will come, it will, just as the night cannot help but give way for day when its time comes. Even though I recorded shortcomings that shook me to my marrow in the last year, I made great strides exploring new business, even in the midst of nationwide recession, expanded my hedges even in real estate, saw the fruitful completion of two contracts amongst others, that I at some point literally tempered growth so that people who like linking things won’t begin to link deaths in my family to those sparks of successes. I am happy for all that life has taught me this far, and as I approach the fourth decade of my life, knowing that things won’t get easier, I can only hope that I have bigger shoulders to carry the challenges I’ll encounter as well as the accompanying blessings, in this very interesting play that my life’s turning out to be. Shalom!
– THE WORD OF YAHWEH, © 2000