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Faith to Sacrifice
One of the stories that the Greeks liked to tell was the story of
Narcissus, son of a river god and of a nymph. He was known for his
beautiful face. It was prophesied that Narcissus would have a long life
if he never looked upon his own features. But this was too much of a
temptation for him because he loved himself so much.
One day Narcissus stood a long time and looked at the reflection
made by the water. Immediately he fell in love with his own reflection.
So Narcissus missed the length and fullness of life because he had a
narrowly focused attention upon himself.
Now whenever we hear of people who fall in love with themselves,
who become narrow and selfish, we think of the myth of Narcissus. In
fact, excessive preoccupation with yourself is called narcissism.
Our study of Abraham has been an interesting one. We have
followed him from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran and then to Canaan. We have
felt with him in numerous experiences such as his struggles for a son. We
have observed his failures when he took matters in his own hand and
secured a son with Hagar, Sarah's handmaid. Now we come to a time when
Abraham has a degree of security. God had given Sarah and him a son, and
they could enjoy the blessings which God had promised. The question at
this point in Abraham's life was, "Will he fall in love with himself and
what he possesses?" Generally, on the basis of this question the supreme
test of Abraham's faith comes.
Abraham was ordered by God to take Isaac, the son of promise, the
child whom he loved, to the land of Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice.
The same God who had said, "I will give you many descendants, and they
will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous,
so that you will be a blessing" (Genesis 12:2 TEV) now says, "'Take your
son,' God said, 'Your only son Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the
land of Moriah. There on a moun ...
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