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June 23, 2024
Genesis 23:14
"Yahweh Yirah"

The preface

 

Good manager

 

As you work, you will experience various managers. Depending on the person's disposition or personality, you can see different ways of doing things and the manners of treating employees. Some managers bother their employees by meddling with all the smallest things, while others leave them alone with little interference. A good manager will be a properly balanced manager who makes a good distinction between when to interfere and when not. A common feature of managers, however, is that while they seem indifferent, they are observing and evaluating their employees well. So, even if a manager smiles all the time, if the employee makes a mistake or seems irresponsible, the manager immediately give a warning. But a really good manager would be a manager who, when employees do their job, take a good look and know what they need and supply them. It's not hard when you work when you meet a manager like that. Because they know well when and what employees need. The same goes for good parents. Parents who know when and what their children need and provide those things well are probably great parents.

 

The text

 

Abraham 's worship

 

According to today's text, Abraham leaves early in the morning for the land of Moriah to worship. He knew well what he needed because he had done a lot of burnt offerings before. So he skillfully loaded wood and fire on the donkey and set out for the land of Moriah with two servants and Isaac, the sacrifice.

 

The two servants who brought together and the donkeys were put down at the bottom of the mountain, and Abraham began to climb the mountain with wood, fire, a sword, and Isaac, a sacrifice. Now Abraham is climbing the mountain alone with Isaac. Perhaps there was a heavy silence. Because Abraham's heart was not very pleasant. As usual, he would have dragged a sheep up and exchanged jokes with his beloved son Isaac, but this day would have been bound to be silent. His sacrifice this time must have been the most unpleasant sacrifice.

 

Isn't it too hard for us to go to worship sometimes? When life is full of good things, we are full of gratitude and praise when we go to worship, but people who live a life of hardship and suffering are not very pleasant to worship. Sometimes it comes out helplessly. So the true worshiper is a person who worships in pain and worships in sin. Some people worship as a condition for worship, but it's really amazing to come to worship even though they don't.

 

That's the place of Abraham's worship now. Isaac must have been climbing the mountain with a very heavy heart, too. He may not have seen his father be silent for so long as he went to sacrifices. Nevertheless, Isaac has a hard time talking to his father.

 

““The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? ” -- Genesis 22:7 (CSB)”

 

This kind of question is a very obvious question. From the point of view of Isaac, who sometimes followed his father, this sacrifice is really strange. First of all, my father's expression is strange, but there is no sacrifice in the burnt offering. Then Abraham answers like this.

 

"“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  -- Genesis 22:8 (CSB)"

 

Here we find that the very famous word “Yahweh Yireh” has begun. This expression means "Yahweh God will offer sacrifices." Isn't it weird in common sense, the offering is given by the worshiper to God, so it is right for the worshiper to prepare. By the way, what is Abraham answering now?

 

"The offering will be prepared by God who receives worship"

 

I had a conversation with a Muslim a while ago. Because I say, "Jesus is God"? The person says this. “How can God die?” It is It's something that can't be understood by common sense. How can God die, and how can a worshipper prepare a sacrifice on his own? Jesus is God, and God became a sacrifice to himself and redeemed our sins. These facts don't seem to make sense in the world. But aren't those situations the same in the case where Abraham tried to sacrifice Isaac? It may not have made sense to Isaac that the worshiper did not prepare the offering, but that the person receiving the worship will prepare the offering.

 

As soon as he arrived at the place where the sacrifice was held, Abraham built an altar. Then he put wood on it and tied Issac. Perhaps it was only at this time that Isaac realized that he was a sacrifice. Even though Isaac doesn't have many stories in the Bible, there is a scene in which God introduces Himself as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” The reason why Isaac's name always appears may be right here. Abraham who obeyed the order to offer Isaac is great, but Isaac who obeyed himself until his death is also great, isn't he? He is innocently bound when Abraham tries to tie him up.

 

Now he is all set. Now Abraham just kills Isaac with a knife, just like he usually kills sheep, kill him with a knife, burns wood, and burns it as a sacrifice. Abraham was probably the most conflicted at this moment? If he just grab a knife and stab him now, he won't be able to go back. So far, there have been opportunities to turn around and not obey. When he first heard the command, when he arrived in the land of Moriah, when Isaac asked himself a question as he climbed the mountain, and now binds Isaac, he was able to turn back on his obedience and disobey. But now that Isaac is stabbed with a knife, he can't turn back. This is the last minute It's the last moment when he can reject God's command and save Isaac.

 

In other words, Abraham's obedience is not yet 100%. Even when he woke up early in the morning, even when he tied Isaac up, he was not yet obedient. When will this obedience end? It ends when he kills Isaac. He would have been conflicted. But he boldly grabbed the knife and tried to kill Isaac. Then suddenly, the angel of Yahweh calls Abraham from heaven. Just before Abraham really kills Isaac, he asks Abraham to stop. It was the moment when Abraham passed God's test.

 

Dear friends, God's test is harsh. It's so harsh that sometimes it's hard to pass. There are two main reasons why God's test is harsh. First, God sometimes tests us through what we cherish and love most. Isaac is a good example of that. Sometimes it can be money. Sometimes it can be health, sometimes it can be a child. God wants us to love nothing more than God. That's why the first commandment commands, "You shall have no other gods besides me." So when we seem to love something else more than God, God tests us through them.

 

The second is because when God test us, we can't deceive God properly. Tests in this world can sometimes trick test supervisors. Or it may not fully reflect your skills. But God really wants us to pass the test. It is unacceptable to pretend to do so in moderation. If Abraham had only pretended to properly support Isaac, he would never pass this test. Because God knows everything.

 

Therefore, there are things that we must need in order to pass God's harsh test. The first is to put God as a top priority in our lives. If there is anything that we think is more important than God, we will not be able to pass God's test. Or only after you lose the things you loved, you will know that God is the owner of it all. Therefore, you must love God more than your own life more than anything in this world. So that when God tests us, we can prove it.

 

Second, we need to know who God is, both intellectually and experientially. We need to know well about God. God is basically the creator of the whole universe. In other words, this world began with Him. So his breath is revealed in this world. Even in a small snow, we can find a certain rule that shows the correct and orderly character of God. We can learn the laws of life from nature, which expresses God's character well. But those things are not enough to know God completely. So God reveals Himself so that we can know Him well. That's the Bible we have. The Bible is the only book that explains who God is most accurately and correctly.

 

But it is not enough to know God only intellectually. Now it's important for us to get to know the God we learned from the Bible experientially in our lives. Staying in knowledge doesn't help much in our lives. Therefore, we must experience the God recorded in the Bible in our lives. Through Abraham's life, we can know God intellectually, and we can know God who works in our life by comparing it to the events that worked in Abraham's life. God who answers prayers! The God who tests us, the God who loves us, in order for us to know properly, the knowledge we learned in the book must now be substituted in life with experience. When we do that, we can get to know God properly. And those experiences make us more confident in God. In the end, even if you offer your beloved son like Abraham, you will trust him as a God who can raise him back.

 

Finally, we must know His goodness in order to pass God's harsh test. The meaning is that God never asks us to do anything that harms us. Sometimes God makes demands that we don't understand like Isaac. But it is a requirement that is thoroughly contrary to God's character. God doesn't want human sacrifices to offer people as sacrifices. Nevertheless, if God commanded it, we should trust God to know that it has some important meaning beyond that. Sometimes God asks us too much. We must trust that it is not for God to harm us, but to do everything together for good. So we must never forget that God is good.

 

A conclusion

 

Yahweh Yireh

 

We need to understand the meaning of the word "Yahweh Yireh" through the words of today's text. People often use the meaning of this word when something is provided. For example, when you're worried because you don't have a job, people tell you not to worry because it's 'Yahweh Yireh'. Of course, the meaning is not wrong, and the content is correct. But if we better understand the word 'Yahweh Yireh', this will be of great help to our faith. The word 'Yahweh Yireh' means that God has prepared for us. In other words, just as He prepared a ram for Abraham, God already knows what we are worried about to keep our faith in God or to worship.

 

The Hebrew word 'Yireh' was written in Abraham's case to mean ‘to provide', but elsewhere it was more used to mean 'to observe closely'. It means that Yahweh looks into every part of our lives and already knows what we need. So what we need, God provides it when we need it most. Therefore, we don't have to worry about things that prevent us from living in our faith. Don't worry about losing us because we keep our faith in God. God already knows all of that. So God will provide it to us. God is not the one who sleeps and forgets us. Hallelujah .

PASTORAL COLUMN

Lamb and pork

 

Due to the nature of the job, I need to meet a variety of people. Not only do people have different races, but they also have different religions. Even the same Christians are divided into six or seven denominations and claim to be different from each other. The sects of Christianity include Protestantism, Catholicism, and Coptic Orthodoxy, Mormonism, and Jehovah's Witnesses. These are all perceived as completely different sects from the outside, but classified as similar Christianity inside the prison. There is also a group of Jews. They are divided into Messianic Jews and orthodox Jews. Islam has only one sect, but most of them are Sunni. And there's some group called Nation of Islam.

 

Each of these groups may have an annual event once a year. All Christians have one annual event at once. Jews and pagans can all have one annual event. Their annual event is an opportunity for them who always eat the same food in prison, but it's also an opportunity to eat better food and also an opportunity to meet with their families. A lot of religious colors disappear and rather welfare (?) It feels like only the concept of has been expanded. Anyway, those who were hungry for nutrition in prison eat more food than they imagined. They had a limited plate and couldn't have a sharp fork or knife, so the allowable forceless plastic spoon makes the food hard to eat, but they see them get rid of at least three plates of food in an instant. It's a moment that makes people know how important it is to eat.

 

Each group discovers some amazing things through the process of ordering food. Among them, the most representative is the food they usually eat. Buddhists mainly choose food with tofu and vegetables as their main food. Native Americans, on the other hand, can be seen primarily enjoying salmon dishes. Or enjoy the buffalo stew. And Muslims always eat lamb. And pagans always choose pork as their main dish. The things they decide on food like this seem to be very closely related to what they believe in. Christians enjoy beef or chicken dishes.

 

The problem is that Jews and Muslims don't even put pork in their mouths. They treat pigs as unclean animals and believe that everything that touches pork becomes unclean. That's why they can't cook pork in prison. Because the moment they cook pork, Jews and Muslims will never eat food form that kitchen. So pork must come out at the annual event of the pagans, which makes things very complicated. They can't even use tongs used in the kitchen, so I have to buy tongs separately to hand out pork ham.

 

You can see just by looking at the food how the freedom of Christians makes our lives easier. We are not constrained by the food we have to eat. Whether it's eating beef, chicken, or pork belly, it doesn't affect our faith at all. So when we eat at church, we don't have to memorize the food we shouldn't eat. Because we believe that what God said is holy is already clean. And because entering into a person's mouth does not defile us, but coming out into a person's mouth defiles us. It means that it's more important to care about what you shouldn't say than what you shouldn't eat.

 

The freedom of our faith should be a tool that brings us closer to Christ. Because if this leads to spiritual indulgence, we can have a worse look of godliness than the pagans. At the same time as spiritual freedom, we will have to train with joy the moderation and patience towards Christ.

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