Testing God, providing God

The life of Abraham . . . is set by [Genesis 22] in the midst of the contradiction between the testing of God and the providing of God; between the sovereign freedom which requires complete obedience and the gracious faithfulness which gives good gifts; between the command and the promise; and between the word of death which takes away and the word of life which gives. The call to Abraham is a call to live in the presence of this God who moves both toward us and apart from us (cf. Jer. 23:23). Faithful people will be tempted to want only half of it. Most complacent religion will want a God who provides, not a God who tests. Some in bitterness will want a God who tests but refuse the generous providing. Some in cynical modernity will regard both affirmations as silly, presuming we must answer to none and rely upon none, for we are both free and competent. But father Abraham confessed himself not free of the testing and not competent for his own provision. (Walter Brueggemann, Genesis, pp. 192–93)

Category: Exegetical Fragments Comment »

Comments are closed.

Back to top