We always like to cry out, why God?! Why God?! Every time we run into problems. Especially when the problem is big, complicated, and burdensome. We cry out like that, many times not to know the reason why we experience it, but more of a form of protest against what God has let happen to us. Why God?!
Abraham and Isaac
When God spoke to Abraham in Genesis 22:2-3, then He said, “Take now 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 of which I shall tell you.” The next early morning Abraham got up. He saddled his donkey and called his two men and his son Isaac. He also split the wood for the burnt offering and departed, went to the place God had spoken to him. Yes, the Bible tells us that Abraham got up early in the morning, prepared himself, and immediately went with Isaac to Mount Moriah. He walked 3 days before he could see the place meant by God to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah (verse 4).
In one of the movies about Abraham, when God asked Isaac from him, he was depicted crying out, why God?! The writer of the movie might be trying to show Abraham’s human side, but the Bible does not give any indication about this. The Bible simply said he got up early in the morning to go to Mount Moriah. As a matter of fact, he walked 3 days according to Genesis 22:4, this showed he was indeed walking steadfastly without a change of mind. God tested Abraham, Genesis 22:1, and from its beginning, he had proven to have the right heart.
Yes, we can’t deny that many of us are really interested in God’s blessings, God’s power and abilities, God’s miracles. But not many of us would have an interest in who He is, His character & personality, His presence in our lives. Abraham apparently wanted Him more than what the Lord could do for Him. He is willing to pay the price, even his own son, to chase after God himself. He knows that if he has the Lord, He would have gotten everything even if it means he would lose everything. He knows this God he wants as He is the one who raises the dead and through His word calls to exist the things which are not existed before, Romans 4:17.
David, The Lord is my shepherd
Psalm 23: 1 (Indonesia translation), The LORD is my shepherd, I will lack nothing. David knew that he was lacking many things before and still is lacking after writing this Psalm. But he understood also very well that having God means much more to him than having those needs fulfilled. All other things are becoming less important compare to having God, for David he found God is enough. Is He enough for you? Or are there any other things you would run to have besides Him? If so, probably God is not the Lord for you, you are just trying to use Him, take advantage of Him to get what you chase after. We might say, haven’t I had you already? Nothing wrong to chase after others as well, right? Many of us would only need Him to give you a sense of being spiritual. I’m not saying that we have to have nothing or to be poor to be spiritual. What I’m saying is, are we willing to choose Him only, not just as the first, ready give up everything else when God tests us? God’s trials will show who we really chase after the most, who we really want in this life. Especially when everything is taken from us.
What’s interesting in the chapter of Genesis 22 that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, is not mentioned at all. Later only in Genesis 23, her name is mentioned, but it was only about her death. Genesis 23:1-2, Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
In several commentaries, some stated when Sarah learned what had happened to her husband Abraham and her son Isaac, she roared in such a way she died. There is no hint of how many years had passed by between Genesis 22 to 23. Only in the last part of Genesis 23:2, it is mentioned that Abraham came to mourn and weep over her. Came to mourn? Where was he when Sarah passed away? Where did he come from? Did they happen to live separately? Got divorced? What had happened? The Bible is not clear. It only said Abraham came to mourn and to weep over her, Genesis 23:2. Indeed, the last part of Genesis 22 clearly mentioned Abraham came from Mount Moriah. Or rather precisely from Beersheba, Genesis 22:19.
Before Abraham was tempted, the last few verses of Genesis 21, shows he lived in the area of Philistine as a foreigner, in Beersheba. And after the incident he was going to sacrifice Isaac, he returned to Beersheba again, Genesis 22:19. It was his home. But when Sarah died, she died in Kirjath Arba, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan, Genesis 23:2. Beersheba and Hebron are about at a distance of 40 km and more. So what’s going on here? What is clear was when Abraham took Isaac to Mount Moriah, Sarah was completely left out in the story. Probably it was the reason why Abraham got up so early in the morning, packed his stuff, and immediately departing for Mount Moriah from Beersheba. He did not want Sara to intervene in his decision on how to respond to God’s test. And if Sara did, there was a chance that this whole thing would be put to stop. Sara’s name was only later to be mentioned in Genesis 23 when she died.