on 28 July 2020 [Proper 8]: Genesis 22:1-14; Matthew 10:40-42
A God Who Tests?
And after these things God tested Abraham…
This morning’s first scripture lesson starts with this curious phrase: “After all these things…” What “things”? Essentially, after waiting for God to come through with his end of the bargain that the Holy One made with Abraham: namely, that Abraham (incredibly in his old age) would have a son with Sarah (who has been barren and is herself well-beyond the age of having babies), and that Abraham’s lineage would become a great nation, honoring God and making the God-life known and sharing it with the world. That’s the deal! The deal in this case is called “the Covenant”.
The birth of Isaac is the physical evidence of the veracity of the covenant, and “after all these things”, after all the hopes and dreams, struggles and temptations, we now see Isaac as a strapping young man. God has made good on the promises and on the hopes of Abraham.