A new and certain future

Abraham emerged from his dilemma with a sealed covenant, a sure faith and rest from his long toils.

A covenant between consenting individuals, in bible times anyway, generally implied: All that is mine is yours and all yours is mine. If I should die, the covenant will not die with it: for you will continue to honour me in the way you care for all that effectively becomes yours through my death.

As Abraham reached the foot of Moriah, he came to a realisation that in offering his son to God, he would ultimately offer all he had. Isaac was the only link to Abraham's future and thus symbolised his whole life. In offering Isaac, who would suffer a few moments of anguish, Abraham would effectively offer himself. It was a moment of ultimate consecration to the God who called him from the Chaldees so many years earlier.

But in offering all he had, the instrument of sacrifice would become the common ground of covenant. Thus, Abraham gave a son and with him, his own life, his dreams of the future and his legacy. In turn, God entrusted the same to Abraham: His own people, His eternal purposes and His glory.

The covenant committed God to Abraham's descendants: to keep them and preserve His promises in them. It would allow Abraham to sleep in peace, knowing that the covenant would outlive his mortality. In turn, the covenant obligated Abraham and his descendants. Romans 2 distinguished them as the "oracles of God".

No doubt Abraham and his descendants have paid deeply for the implications of that covenant. But, in turn, God has never forsaken His people. He has preserved Israel as the most enduring culture of history, despite the unbelievable odds stacked against her. As much as He has sustained her, so she has matured to become a light on a hilltop, a beacon of truth in a dark-world and the sundial of history.

(c) Peter Eleazar at

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