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Called to Sacrifice

December 15, 2019
By Martin Luther

"Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering."

GENESIS 22:2

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Called to Sacrifice

This trial cannot be overcome and is far too great to be understood by us. For there is a contradiction with which God contradicts Himself. It is impossible for the flesh to understand this; for it inevitably concludes either that God is lying—and this is blasphemy—or that God hates me—and this leads to despair. Accordingly, this passage cannot be explained in a manner commensurate with the importance of the subject matter. We are frequently tempted by thoughts of despair; for what human being is there who could be without this thought: "What if God did not want you to be saved?" But we are taught that in this conflict we must hold fast to the promise given us in Baptism, which is sure and clear. But when this happens, Satan does not cease immediately but keeps crying out in your heart that you are not worthy of this promise. But in this situation there is need of the fervent prayer that God may give us His Spirit, in order that the promise may not be wrested from us.... We must hold fast to the promise and maintain that, just as the text states about Abraham, we are tempted by God, not because He really wants this, but because He wants to find out whether we love Him above all things and are able to bear Him when He is angry as we gladly bear Him when He is beneficent and makes promises.

 

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