Published on June 15, 2021

Two fathers, two sons, two very different outcomes

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

This story is about two covenant fathers.

One is Abraham, and if you’ve helped in Vacation Bible School, you may have sung “Father Abraham” more times than you care to remember. Just to plant that song in your memory, “right arm, left arm!”

You’re mentally going for right foot, left foot, aren’t you? Some things stay forever! Abraham heard the Lord in Genesis 22:2, “Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’”

Did you know this is the first time “love” is mentioned in the bible? Amazingly, it was about a father’s sacrifice.

Covenants have two sides, and Abraham’s was to bring Isaac to the table. It’s interesting to unpack this story. First, Isaac couldn’t have been a child as most often pictured. Genesis 22: 6 says, “So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac, his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. Verse 7: But Isaac spoke to Abraham, his father and said, ‘My Father!’”
Burnt offerings were whole, and it would take several hours over a full fire to consume the entire offering.

That would require a lot of wood, more than a child could carry. Also, Verse 3 says, “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”

It was a three-day journey to the mountain, and a donkey was used to carry the wood most of the way.

When they were within sight of the mountain, Abraham placed the wood on Isaac’s shoulders. Once there, he bound Isaac upon the wood. He raised the knife…and God stopped him midair.

I’ve stood on the spot where Abraham trusted God enough to offer his son, and it’s a place of wonder.

tanding there, my mind and heart were at war with each other. Could I trust God enough to offer the son I loved, in full belief that He would raise him from the dead?

I felt raw, uncovered, and ashamed remembering my first son’s death at age five, and how I fought inwardly to trust God through all the questions of why. Those years were not my proudest.

The other father’s story also begins with another well-loved son, another donkey ride, another mountain, wood being carried for the sacrifice, and a son being bound onto the wood, and again the cry of, “My Father.” However, the ending is not the same.

No angel stepped into this world to stop the knife. Although Jesus said there could have been, Matthew 26: 53: “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? Verse 54: How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

Giving up something you love is never easy. The only thing that made it possible for the second Father to allow His Son to take the blame for crimes He didn’t commit was His overwhelming longing to be with the people He loved. He brought His Son to the covenant table.

This recipe is from Honeysuckle Coffee and Bistro, and it’s like our beautifully created world, full of different shapes and colors.

Pasta Salad

1 Box Mini Bowtie Pasta
1 ½ Quarts Rich Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ Cup Basil Pesto
1/3 Cup Good Caesar Dressing
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Cup Celery, chopped
1 Small Can Black Olives, sliced
1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved

Bring the chicken stock and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain pasta and toss with the olive oil. Combine the pesto, dressing, and cheese; mix well. Add dressing mixture to the pasta and stir well. Add peppers, celery, and olives. Refrigerate for several hours and add tomatoes before serving.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)