Getting off a boat after months of travel, man and creature alike are told multiply. Fill this earth. Pretty fun calling really.
God then looked at all standing there and promised never to flood humanity again.
He then looked at all the animals and said EAT THEM, THEY ARE PRETTY GOOD.
so they chilled a bit, planted a grape field made some fruity wine and one of noahs sons talked about his naked dad passed out in his tent, the first boys locker room chat.
the family had a little bit of a falling out because of it but then multiplied a lot. Our 75 years can sometimes produce 12 kids but just imagine if you had 350 years and your job was to produce and multiply children. 50 kids? 100?
so you’ve got all these family members with their in jokes and their own language. Their similar thought patterns. One of the many maximisers in the group twigs to the idea – we need to get close to God, because then we could join his inner circle and become gods ourselves. and if we were Gods we could do anything we wanted. So they start discussing it and their designer sister gets involved, their construction brother provides ideas and short cuts and they decide to build a giant tower, because the Gods are upwards right? thats where rain is from and thats what makes our crops grow.
So they started building. The great salesmen of the group convinces all the other families that this is a great idea and that they should all help out so that they build around the clock.
the faster they get to be gods the better. so everyones building and they are a well oiled machine so they are building pretty fast. God sees this and knows what will happen.
amongst other things wrapped up in comparative thinking – pride would grow so big through the tower that they would ultimately destroy themselves. Physically through building and climbing but also through perfectionism and jealousy such a tower would not make them Gods but slaves to themselves.
Then God created culture. he divided yes. He pushed aside families yes. But he also created different language, different influences, different shapes of societies who would separately invent things that would help all whilst being away from the destructive tendencies that come from elitist unity.
tower was taken out of the equation.
and then out of those who remembered the creator He pulled out a man and told him a couple of things. one get up and leave your home and go on outreach for a bit. i want you to bring my love to the others. two trust me. i am trust worthy. i will give you a huge family.
so we left our story with a man that was asked to leave his home town and become a stranger. but not a creepy stranger a loving and blessing, to be a warmth, a nice smell, a valuer of all he came in contact with. The keeper of all good things told this mans wife she would have a baby and after all the history that she knew through the stories her father had told her – she didn’t believe. In fact she laughed.
short story – THEIR KEEPER KEPT HIS PROMISE. they had a beautiful son. He was the perfect son for an ageing set of parents. Not as much backyard cricket as there would’ve been but the father son connection was still beautiful, they hunted…. apes?? (thats gotta be right)
and then one day came and his Keeper asks him to do the unthinkable.
-sacrifice the best things to me. your son.
Mr hams flashback – on a mountain top with a voice “look as far you can see, thats your land” “imagine all the stars all the sand, all the sugar on the doughnuts, all the…. you get the idea you will have more descendants then you can poke heaps of sticks at.
Second flash back – his son walking, taking those first steps, gigling in the tent.
3rd flashback – his families keepers goodness. His faithfulness. the safety that they always enjoyed. and those promises.
“Come on isaac”
Now walking up that mountain i personally would have tears streaming down my face. i wouldn’t be angry. i would be sad. this son who i loved, who was perfect, who was strong and loved his mother and was really good at putting up tents fast. this son that had his mothers humour but my sense. Would be no more. And yes my keeper is good. But it would still grieve me. but i would be resolved to give my good son to this good entity.
But i don’t think abraham cried. I think abrahams love for his kid was so large that he internalised everything for the sake of the journey. his last journey . He woul dtalk of normal things. maybe slip in an affirmation or two that hadn’t been said for a few days. maybe thank him for being a great man. but no more – not awkward just genuinely loving.
and at the top of the mountain he would’ve stopped. How does a father kill his son? do i tell him and just burn him alive? do i beat his head it with a rock from behind? do i stab him? do i push him off a cliff? Cause the way you kill the sacrifice isn’t important is it??
He made his decision and as he’s raising his are to take his son to a hopeful better place God is who he is.
“You trusted my goodness so much that you were willing to give me your best. You loved our relationship so much. I love you. I love you. I love you. please raise your son as you have been because he is good.”
And at this point abraham has let go. His eyes a soaking with his own tears. Hes soaking his own boys face with his tears too. At this point isaac may not stlll know whats happened. But Abraham and God are in love. When the beginning of our story spoke of perfect community this is what is looks like. reckless trust.
Because our ultimate and plural keeper knows that we need to keep him so large in our perception that our humility forces us to crave, need, desire the relational community so much that you not have would lose us breath.
As christ walked towards the hill with his cross getting heavier and heavier on his back, unlike isaac he knew everything that was to happen. God knew too. But did God let his tears flow anyway? His beautiful, victorious perfect son, who’s adventure would unite all of the lost children that He was searching the sky for day and night, ALA luke 15.