Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!"
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22 tells the confusing and heart-wrenching story of a father asked to sacrifice his son. It seems wrong that the Lord would even ask it of Abraham to begin with, but we have the benefit of knowing the whole story, just as God knew the whole story before it began. I believe God knew that Isaac was safe even before he asked Abraham to sacrifice him. I believe he knew Abraham's heart, knew he would be obedient, knew Abraham trusted God in all his wisdom and holiness and mystery. And Abraham reveals to us his trust in his answer to Isaac's question in verse 8: God himself will provide the lamb.
As it stands today, the longest Waverley will be in Matt and Molly's home is through December 18th, (although custody may change over before that, depending on what is worked out legally). But, just as I believe God knew the whole story - beginning, middle and end - of Genesis 22, I believe he knows the whole story of Waverley's adoption - beginning, middle and end. And it is not over.
I have been awed by the way that the Lord seems to be captivating our hearts on behalf of Waverley. I am honestly taken off guard by how many people have told me that they haven't been able to stop thinking, praying, weeping for Matt and Molly. I believe that this is significant. And not just in revealing how kind and thoughtful people are, or how horrible this situation is. I believe the fact that so many hearts have been moved by Wavy's story is significant because it is evidence that the Lord is moving. I believe the Lord is raising up an army of prayer warriors.
Today I spoke with a woman I have met only once - a friend of a friend - who has never met Matt and Molly, but heard of their story through my friend. She told me about a friend of hers who was dying of stage 4 cancer. This friend had slipped into a coma and the doctors had called all family members to say their goodbyes. As doctors said there was nothing more they could do, this woman and her friends decided to pray for their dying friend twice a day for 100 days until she was cancer-free. I don't know how many days into their 100 days they were when their friend awoke from her coma. I don't know how many more days until she stood up from her deathbed. I don't know how many more days until she walked out of the hospital. But today her friend is now back at work, cancer-free. A miracle. No doubt about it.
The woman told me that she wants to do the same for Wavy and as she told me of her desire to pray corporately for Wavy, I saw in my mind the scene from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King when the army of dead warriors arises and bursts out of the mountain to fight on behalf of the King. And I thought of the verse in Ephesians: "Sleeper, awake; rise from the dead! And Christ on thee his light shall shed!"
Do you see what I see? Do you see that army rising up? Did you feel something awaken in you when you heard Waverley's story? Was it a cry for justice? A sense that the Lord should make wrong things right?
Well, fellow warriors, we are the army. We are the Sleepers awakening, coming out of a deep slumber (perhaps of apathy? of faithlessness? of forgetfulness? of fear?) ready to fight on behalf of the King and his beloved daughter.
So here is what I am asking of you: Set your alarms for 10:08am and 10:08pm and join me twice a day in prayer for Waverley every day for the next 36 days (today - December 18th). Why 10:08? Because 10:00pm in military time is 22:00 and Genesis 22:8 is our battle cry: God himself will provide a lamb.
My dad gets a daily scripture reading via email and he emailed me today's reading. Scripture says the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. So if you need more ammunition for this fight, draw this sword of Truth:
Friday, November 12
1 Kings 7:1-33; John 13:31-38
There is no perversion of justice with the Lord our God, or partiality, or taking of bribes. 2 Chronicles 19:7
Peter began to speak, 'I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.' Acts 10:34-35
Millions are crying out for justice, righteous God! You demand that we be bold and speak out against all forms of injustice and unjust rule that destroy body and soul. Strengthen the values of fairness, honesty, integrity, impartiality, and righteousness in our families and nations so that we can do that which is acceptable to God alone. Amen.
What a fitting call to battle! These Words are our ammunition. They are our swords. Put them to use. Fight. Pray. Cry out for justice and mercy. Be bold and courageous, oh Warriors! Please leave a comment and pledge to pray for Waverley twice a day for the next 36 days. Let's have the faith of Abraham and say with confidence, "God himself will provide the lamb!"