Hebrews 11:17-19 (NRSV)
17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, 18 of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” 19 He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Abraham's faith was solidified after God's promise to him was fulfilled. So much so at God's request he was willing to sacrifice the very son God promised him. According to the writer or Hebrews, he was so confident in God's promises that not even sacrificing Isaac could stop God's word. Nonetheless this was a moment of crisis for Abraham. He would either sacrifice Isaac or betray what he knew to be true.
I think about those who were enslaved who were so horrified and traumatized by slavery that they actually did sacrifice their children. They didn't want their newborns to live lives of bondage. Like Abraham they faced a moment of crisis and faith. They were faced with sacrificing their children or betray what they knew was true. Our ancestors were also people of deep faith. Ultimately they believed that they would see these children in the next life. That they were sending these babies to be with the Lord where they would never be abused, used, and oppressed.
As we commemorate Abraham's test of faith let us also commemorate our ancestors’ actual sacrifice.
Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me
And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free
Lord I thank you today for freedom. I pray that every privilege I have be used to help everyone get free. I pray that we see the precious gift of our children as an opportunity to pour your love, grace, and compassion in to them. In Jesus name.
Questions for Meditation