Abraham died, Isaac just trembled a bit

To have witnessed the events that unfolded when Abraham, that towering giant of bible history, faced his defining moment, would have been a very humbling experience.

But the only human witness was Isaac and he only had a bit part in what was one of the most profound dramas of recorded history.

We tend to regard Isaac as a tragic part of the whole story, the suffering, sacrificial son. But he only faced about ten seconds of terror and then basked in the glory of the moment that he shared with his father.

Abraham, on the other hand, bore the pain alone and he fully understood its implications. He never involved his wife, his servants or his son. The implications for him were the potential end to his life work and his aspirations for a lasting legacy. Not only would Isaac's death break his old heart, it would also cut him off from the land of the living and sever his share in the burgeoning kingdom of God.

He had pusued a promise, whilst trying to outrun a pagan past. Now the past and the future collided in a single moment that would define the future of God's working amongst humankind.

(c) Peter Eleazar at

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