Armadale UCA

28th June 2020

The binding of Isaac – Darius Gilmont

`Trust and obey?`

Pentecost 4

Rev Fiona Winn

Welcome and Grace

Scripture sentence

`…present yourselves to God
as those who have been brought from death to life…
For sin will have no more dominion over you,
since you are not under the law but under grace`.
Romans 6: 13, 14

TIS 48 (based on Ps. 91)

`You who abide in the shadow of the Lord`
(Michael Joncas)
https://youtu.be/JdTQskngiP4

Refrain
And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life,
Say to the Lord, "My Refuge,
My Rock in Whom I trust."
Refrain

The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear;
Under his wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield.
Refrain

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Thought thousands fall about you
Near you it shall not fall.
Refrain

For to His angels God`s given a command
To guard you in all of your ways.
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Refrain
Michael Joncas

Prayer

Readings

Genesis 22:1-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Command to Sacrifice Isaac

22 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place

The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Psalm 13 (NRSV)

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
To the leader. A Psalm of David.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV)
Rewards

40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me,
and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward;
and whoever welcomes a righteous person
in the name of a righteous person
will receive the reward of the righteous;
42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—
truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

Song `Trust and obey`

https://youtu.be/mmGb3zRv6xE

(Slightly different words from those in the video….)

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we'll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Oh, Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

And 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, for grace to trust You more!

Don Moen Source: Musixmatch

Reflection and Q and A

Reflection – 28th June 2020 Trust and obey?

This story from the life of Abraham begs so many questions:

Given God`s covenant with Abraham, God`s promise that through Abraham`s son, the nations of the world would be blessed (Gen. 15: 1-21) how could God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac? The request itself is so gruesome and traumatic to contemplate.

Imagine…

Gen. 22: 2 `Take your son, your only son, the son you love…`

Why would God ask that of Abraham?

And how could Abraham contemplate such a thing – let alone, without question - embark on doing it?

Would you have done it?

Would you do it?

Abraham offers no resistance to God`s request and Abraham very nearly succeeds in doing what God has asked! Without the angel`s intervention it seems certain that Abraham would have sacrificed his son.

Is this faith gone mad?

The Abraham we meet in this story is a changed Abraham from the fearful, untrusting Abram of previous stories (Gen. 16: 1-15). At that time, rather than trusting the promises of God, Abram and his wife, Sarai, scheme to bring about God`s purposes.

God had promised them a glorious future (Gen. 15: 1-20) but they remain childless and decide to take matters into their own hands. Abram takes his concubine, Hagar, and has a son by her, Ishmael. This human engineered `solution` has had serious and violent consequences even to the present day.

Despite their wilfulness and what they have done, God reaffirms his plans for them and for all human history. And as a sign of this commitment/re-commitment, gives them new names – Abram becomes Abraham, Sarai, Sarah (Gen. 17: 1-22). They are made new; made new people. The complaining, fearful, distrustful Abram becomes the worshipping, obedient, humbled and humble Abraham.

Have you ever experienced a similar sort of turnaround in your understanding of God and yourself?

The relationship between God and Abraham, between Abraham and Isaac, is an intimate father/son motif which echoes throughout scripture: the closeness, the trust, the willingness to do whatever the father asks – even contrary to human wisdom and thought…however hard…and of course speaks of the relationship between God and Jesus.

Twice in the passage we hear this beautiful metaphor for the father/son relationship `So the two of them walked on together` (Gen. 22: 6, 8).

With their own thoughts. With their own questions.

With their own trust in the other…and in God?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have had to trust God though it made no sense to you?

What about just now in these testing times?

When God calls Abraham and tells him to take his son, his only son, the son he loves – Abraham, trusting God, no matter what God asks of him, goes…

The graphic, dramatic and traumatic elements of this archetypal story foreshadow biblical themes central to salvation – obedience, unquestioning trust, sacrifice, God`s provision of a substitute, the sacrificial lamb.

And – one of the central scriptural, biblical tenets embedded in this passage - faith in the resurrection - or rather the resurrective power and intention of God.

Gen. 22: 5 `Then Abraham said to his young men, `Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.` How`s that going to happen?

Abraham can do whatever God asks because he believes that no matter what happens on the mountain, Isaac will be alive. They will return together. Such faith!

`By faith Abraham when put to the test offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, `It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named after you. He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead – and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.`…` Hebrews 11: 17-19

Prayer and the Lord`s Prayer

TIS 560 `All my hope on God is founded`
https://youtu.be/W3LCGh02Vew

                1. All my hope on God is founded
                  who does still my trust renew;
                  through all change and chance God guides me,
                  only good and only true.
                  Love unknown, God's alone,
                  calls my heart to be God's own.

2. Human pride and earthly glory,
sword and crown, betray all trust;
what our care and toil establish,
tower and temple, fall to dust,
but God's power, hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower. 

3. God's great goodness reigns eternal,
deep in wisdom, passing thought;
light and life are all God's splendour
bringing beauty out of naught.
Evermore from God's store
newborn worlds rise and adore. 

5. Still from earth to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, the Son.
Hear Christ call one and all:
you that follow shall not fall.

Blessing

The blessing of God the Father comfort you.
The blessing of God the Son strengthen you.
The blessing of God the Holy Spirit inspire you to live hopefully
in the trials of this present time, trusting in God`s glorious future
for us and all creation.
Amen