Entry 16


After these things, God tested Avraham. He said to him, “Avraham!” and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah. There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1,2)

Throughout Genesis 22, and the binding of Isaac, nothing is mentioned about Sarah. Did she know of Yahveh’s command to her husband to take and sacrifice their only son? Did she object, when she learned of this command? Scripture is silent on how she reacted. Thus, it is left to the human mind to ascertain how our Matriarch did respond.

There are certain clues we may use to determine how she might have dealt with this command. First, we go to Genesis 15:4, where we read – ‘But the word of Adonai came to him: “This man will not be your heir. No, your heir will be a child from your own body.’” Thus, Sarah knew Avraham would be able to sire a child. But, she believed, Adonai had prevented her from conceiving. We learn this in Genesis 16:2 – ‘so Sarai said to Avram, “Here now, Adonai has kept me from having children; so go in and sleep with my slave-girl. Maybe I’ll be able to have children through her.’” Avram listened to what Sarah said. In Genesis 16, we are told that Avraham had sexual relations with Hagar, Sarah’s maid-servant, and she conceived a son, whom Avraham named Yishma’el, God will hear.

From this episode on Sarah’s life, we may gather that Avraham’s wife may not have full trust in Yahveh’s Word. How would she react when her husband and her son left? I think you can imagine the anguish she felt. The journey Yahveh ordered Avraham and Isaac to take required three days there and three days back, a minimum of six and possibly seven days of travel. Through all of this time, Sarah is alone, with her thoughts and fears. What was her solace?

Sarah knew of the promises Yahveh had given both Avraham and her; she knew that generations of Hebrews would emerge from her loins, through Isaac. She knew that, from Avraham, all the nations of the world would be blessed, that is, grafted into the Hebrew family, as workers and helpers of Israel. Were these promises enough for Sarah? She had given birth to her child, at the age of 90, so that major promise was fulfilled. How do you believe you would react, if your spouse claimed to have heard the word of God calling for the sacrifice of your child? Perhaps you may have a deeper insight as to the thoughts and possibly fears that Sarah was facing.

Thus, the binding of Isaac was also the binding of Sarah.

May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.

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