Firstly I want to restate that these are my thoughts and not necessarily a step procedure that I have found in the scriptures. God does not line things out one, two and three, but has given us the Word to search out. With that in mind I want to talk about God’s love.
God’s love is something that we continue to learn about all our lives. There is no end to His love and no finding out all of the ways that He has loved us and how He has shown us that love. He is unknowable except in those things which He gives us to know. Those points of knowledge belong to us because they have been freely given from a Loving Father.
Our father is different from all the pagan gods in that He not only created us with a purpose but also has taken responsibility for our redemption. He created Adam and Eve who later, probably quickly, fell from His presence through the simple act of disobedience to one single commandment. That tells us something, that no matter how simple something is, we can always mess it up. Then the rest of scripture describes God’s work in bringing mankind back to Himself.
The Bible and Book of Mormon have stories in them that are hard to believe, even for God’s people. We read that God tested the faith of Abraham by commanding him to offer his only son Isaac upon a mountain on an alter. We also read that Jacob wrestled with an angel, who was probably Christ, based on the comments of Jacob (Genesis 32:30). How can such things be and why? They do not make sense to the mind of man without some instruction or help to understand. However if we remember that in God’s commandments and actions He is revealing Himself as well as interacting with men. These are human beings that do not learn very quickly about spiritual things. We always think of ourselves and how difficult tasks are and the common discomforts. We want life to be heaven when it is the really just the probation of man. It is the valley of decision. God calls us to that mountain where He met Abraham and Isaac. While we are there we will learn what God is really about. He is a loving creator who has done everything possible for us to be saved and He wants us to learn how to live with Him.
Those offensive or strange stories are more about God than about man. Jacob fought and struggled all night long with Christ. The Lord could have just flicked him off as some insect or speck of dirt. He did not. He patiently waited through the impetuous holding and struggling of Jacob. What does it say about God. First He is true to His Word. In the seed of Abraham all men shall be blessed, so He also endures and condescends to that family for the benefit of us all. Second it teaches us that He is patient and gentle even though He could crush. That is far different from most humans. Often if we can, we do, just because we have the power to do something. God stood firm resisting Jacob, yet not casting him off.
The story of Abraham upon the mountain raising his knife to kill his own son. I assume intended to kill Isaac in the same manner that sacrifices were properly offered to God, by cutting Isaac’s throat so that the blood could be spilled out unto God. Because the blood of sacrifices belongs to God. This again is a story about God and His plan for salvation through His Son Jesus. It is meant to make us ponder and consider the absolute repulsion of this act. Why must an innocent being suffer for the unjust and vial. These stories are designed by God to bring us to understand Him in some small way. Yet I am sure that it was a real event, so dramatic as to help us to feel what Our Father felt for His Son. The prophet Isaiah recorded the thoughts of the Lord, “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Isa 5:4 He has done every thing possible to bring us to Him. The work is His and we must approach Him asking and believing to find understanding.
This story on Mount Moriah helps us to understand what it was like for the Father to send His Son to live and die for our sins. The Just died for the unjust. The innocent paid for the guilty. The mind of man is nearly overwhelmed by this thought. How else could God get through to us who are by nature so selfish. Here was a perfect act of unselfishness. What else is capable of piercing us to the very core of our soul. Here is where we see what God was willing to do for us. Even the most vile person is included in this great gift of love. This had to be something that God and man could accept together. It was also to satisfy our great thirst for justice and our great need for mercy. The pure offering of Jesus on the cross, where the blood is spilled unto God and returned to us in the resurrected Savior. Jesus said it was finished and all things have become new. God received Him into the Holy of Holies and says it is enough, it is an infinite atonement. Now it is up to each of us to confess to God the Father that it is enough for me. We must see that God did everything for us and put a path that could be walked because it is enough. Now Jesus says, I am with you even until the end of the world.
This love that God has shown to us in the power and blood of Jesus the Christ is the way to salvation and enough to acquit you before God without consequences. When we now go into the world this is the God that we take to the world. One who is sufficient for our forgiveness, peace of conscience and our needs, because he has done this for the blessing of all the earth. Then every soul does have the same worth. This is the challenge of our day and any day, to see the value of every soul through the Blood of Jesus the Christ, the only begotten Son of God. In this spirit of the love of God we can minister to the needs of a fallen world.