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Devotional Stories: Taking Inspiration From the Story of Abraham Sacrificing Isaac

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圣经讲了亚伯拉罕的故事。亚伯拉罕一百岁时,上帝赐给他一个儿子以撒。然而,以撒长大后,上帝命令亚伯拉罕献祭。然而,当亚伯拉罕将他唯一的儿子放在神的祭坛上并举起刀准备杀死这个男孩时,神阻止了他。实际上,上帝不仅阻止亚伯拉罕献祭以撒,而且还以极大的祝福来丰富亚伯拉罕,并使他的后代成为一个伟大的民族。

每次我读这个故事时,我总是对亚伯拉罕表示敬佩,因为我觉得他对上帝怀有极大的信心。他能够服从上帝的计划,并献出他深爱的独子作为牺牲。因此,他证明自己配得上“信仰之父”的头衔。但是,我不明白的是:为什么上帝给亚伯拉罕一百岁时生了一个儿子,然后命令他牺牲这个男孩?最终,神的意图是什么?

很长一段时间,我都不明白。直到最近,当我在网上阅读“上帝的工作,上帝的性情和上帝自己II”文本时,我才明白上帝与亚伯拉罕的工作具有深远的意义,也充满了上帝的意图。现在,我打算对收到的见解进行书面记录。

1.任何人或事物都不能影响上帝决定做某事的决定

《圣经》《创世记》第17章第15-17节说:“上帝对亚伯拉罕说,至于你妻子撒莱,你不称她的名字撒莱,但叫撒拉。我要祝福她,还给你一个儿子。是的,我要祝福她,她将成为万国之母。万民之王应属于她。亚伯拉罕跌倒在脸上,笑了,心里说:他要生一个一百岁的孩子吗?九十岁的莎拉会承受吗?”

第17章第21节说:“ 但是我要与以撒建立约,莎拉将在明年的这个设定时间对你承担这一责任。

第21章第2-3节说:“因为撒拉生了亚伯拉罕,并怀了一个年幼的儿子,这是上帝对他说话的时间。亚伯拉罕叫撒拉生给他的儿子以撒生了儿子的名字。

当上帝告诉亚伯拉罕他要给他一个儿子时,亚伯拉罕不相信他,以为他和他的妻子莎拉已经过了生育年龄,不可能生育。令他们惊讶的是,莎拉在第二年的确生了一个儿子。每当我读这些经文时,我总会想:如果是我,我的反应会和亚伯拉罕一样。那为什么上帝要这样与亚伯拉罕一起工作呢?

上帝的工作,上帝的性格和上帝自己II ”这样解释:人的所作所为或思想,人的理解,人的计划-这些都不与上帝有任何关系。一切都按照上帝的计划进行,并与上帝设定的时间和阶段保持一致。这就是上帝工作的原则。上帝不干预任何人的想法或了解,但他也不放弃他的计划或放弃他的工作,因为人不相信或不理解。因此,事实是根据上帝的计划和思想完成的。这正是我们在圣经中看到的:神使以撒在他定下的时候出生。事实是否证明人的行为和举止阻碍了上帝的工作?他们没有阻碍上帝的工作!人对上帝的一点信仰以及他对上帝的观念和想象是否影响了上帝的工作?不他们没有!至少不是!上帝的管理计划不受任何人,事或环境的影响。他决心做的一切都将按计划按时完成和完成,任何人都不能干涉他的工作。上帝无视人类愚昧和无知的某些方面,甚至无视人类对祂的抵抗和观念的某些方面,而做了他必须做的工作。这是上帝的性格,是上帝无所不能的反映。

虔诚的故事:从亚伯拉罕牺牲以撒的故事中获得启示

看完这篇文章后,我了解到:我们人类不了解上帝的全能和主权。我们对上帝的信仰是不够的。因此,当神的话语或神的工作与我们的观念不符,或超出我们的接受能力时,我们的态度就会变得可疑,我们认为神不可能完成他所计划要做的事情。但是,上帝是全能的,他要实现的目标不受任何人或事物的影响,当然,他绝不会受到任何存在力量的阻碍。那时我看到上帝的全能和智慧是真正的奇迹,是真正的深不可测。上帝的工作超出了人类的想象。我们绝对无法理解它。

2.上帝珍惜和热爱人民的诚意;上帝保佑那些听他的话并服从他的人

The Bible says, “And He said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of” (Genesis 22:2).

“And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son” (Genesis 22:9–10).

By Myself have I sworn, said Jehovah, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:16–18).

From these scriptural passages we can see that when Jehovah God commanded Abraham to offer his son as a burnt offering, Abraham obeyed His command with complete obedience. However, in the end God didn’t ask Abraham to kill Isaac at all. Instead God promised He would make Abraham’s descendants a great nation. In the past, I hadn’t understood: Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, only to stop Abraham when he raised his knife to slay his son? Moreover, why did God then lavish blessings upon Abraham?

These two sections of the text, “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II,” say that: “When Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son, were his actions seen by God? They were. The entire process—from the start, when God asked that Abraham sacrifice Isaac, to when Abraham actually raised his knife to slay his son—showed God the heart of Abraham, and regardless of his former foolishness, ignorance, and misunderstanding of God, at that time Abraham’s heart for God was true, and honest, and he truly was going to return Isaac, the son given to him by God, back to God. In him, God saw obedience—the very obedience that He desired.

To man, God does much that is incomprehensible and even incredible. When God wishes to orchestrate someone, this orchestration is often at odds with man’s conceptions, and incomprehensible to him, yet it is precisely this dissonance and incomprehensibility that are God’s trial and test of man. Abraham, meanwhile, was able to demonstrate the obedience to God within himself, which was the most fundamental condition of his being able to satisfy God’s requirement. … At the moment that Abraham lifted up his knife to slay Isaac, did God stop him? God did not let Abraham offer Isaac, for God simply had no intention of taking Isaac’s life. Thus, God stopped Abraham just in time. For God, Abraham’s obedience had already passed the test, what he did was sufficient, and God had already seen the outcome of what He intended to do. Was this outcome satisfactory to God? It can be said that this outcome was satisfactory to God, that it was what God wanted, and was what God had longed to see. Is this true? Although, in different contexts, God uses different ways of testing each person, in Abraham God saw what He wanted, He saw that Abraham’s heart was true, and that his obedience was unconditional, and it was precisely this ‘unconditional’ that God desired.

After contemplating these two sections, I understood: What God wanted all along was for people to be sincere toward Him. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, certainly not because He wanted Abraham to kill his son, but rather because He wanted to use this command to test Abraham, to see whether Abraham would truly trust in and obey God. Abraham’s son Isaac was given to him when he was one hundred years old, so we can imagine how much he loved him. We could even say that Abraham considered Isaac’s life more important than his own. Yet when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham didn’t complain to God, nor did he ask Him to explain His reasons, even though his heart was aching. Abraham knew Isaac was a gift from God. If God now wanted him to make a sacrifice, Abraham knew he must obey. Thus without hesitation, Abraham took Isaac to the place where burnt offerings were made. He raised his knife ready to return Isaac to God. However, God could now see Abraham’s sincerity and obedience, so at that moment, He stopped him, gave him His blessings, and promised that his descendants would become a great nation. I saw in God’s blessing of and promise to Abraham the delight God feels when people are sincere toward Him. He is delighted when people come before Him without conditions, and worship and obey Him without demanding something in return.

3. Finding Insight in Abraham’s Story

Seeing how Abraham received a son at one hundred years of age, I really understood something of God’s almightiness and sovereignty; I understood that when God has decided to do something, no person or thing can possibly divert or impede Him. At the same time, I also identified some rules to put into practice: Even when God’s words or work don’t fit with our ideas, or when we don’t understand them or can’t accept them, still, we must not approach God’s words or work in terms of our own concepts and thinking. Instead, we should maintain a reverence for God in our hearts and seek to know His intention. We should accept God’s work and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. That is the kind of rationality that we ought to have as humans.

Seeing how God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, I also understood God’s earnest intention in setting difficulties before us and subjecting us to trials. Looking from the outside, these difficulties and refinements cause us physical pain. However, it is with these difficulties and trials that God tests whether we are sincere toward Him, transforms impurities in the way we believe in Him in our hearts, and enables us to truly submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements and stand and bear witness to God. Thus we can come before God and earnestly reflect on ourselves. We have always followed God, but what kind of attitude have we held toward Him? In our lives, what has been our attitude when we underwent His trials?

As I think of myself and the brothers and sisters around me, when our family life is peaceful and our work is going smoothly, we often sing hymns in praise of God, pray to Him and thank Him and go out to preach the salvation of our Lord Jesus. But when work isn’t going smoothly, and our family life isn’t peaceful, we complain to God and blame Him for not caring for and protecting us. When we face illness, we pray to God and as time passes with no sign of recovery, then we lose faith in Him. We don’t even feel like reading scripture or praying…. From this we can see that when facing difficulties, we don’t accept and obey God as Abraham did. Rather, we complain to God, and try to reason with Him. There is simply no comparison between us and Abraham. When Abraham underwent his trial, he willingly obeyed God. He didn’t complain. And he didn’t act this way because he wanted blessings or rewards in return—all he wanted was to satisfy God. But not us—when we have faith in God, it is because we want to receive God’s blessings and grace. When we face some trial or difficulty, we don’t come to God with any true reverence or obedience. Our faith in God is so messed up. Even when we give up things that are important to us and make difficult commitments for the sake of God, we still are trying to make a deal with Him. How could this kind of “faith” earn us the approval of God?

直到那时我才意识到,在信仰上帝时,我们应该效法亚伯拉罕的榜样-尊重上帝的伟大,并以纯洁,忠诚和顺从的心来接受上帝的话语和他所有的世俗安排。当经受神的考验时,我们不应向他抱怨。取而代之的是,我们应该在造物主之前代替造物,站起来为上帝作见证。只有这样,我们才能得到上帝的认可。

感谢上帝的指示,并通过阅读“上帝的工作,上帝的性格和上帝自己II”,我在与亚伯拉罕的上帝的工作中认识到了上帝的权威和上帝的意图。阿们!

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