Following on from an earlier post about Daniel being flung into the lions’ den when he was in his 80’s contrary to some artistic interpretations that portray him as a young man, here is an idea that may correct our usual image of another famous biblical incident: Isaac could have been 30 when Abraham bound him and placed him on an altar and raised a knife above him ready to kill him on Mount Moriah, not a child or a youth in our way of thinking and measuring such things. Other traditions and commentators say he could have been 18. Impossible to prove? Sure. However, going by some phrases in the biblical text to do with the passing of time before this incident and the fact that the death of Sarah, Isaac’s mother, at the age of 127 is the next chronological detail we are told after the story of Mount Moriah, I think the suggestion that we should think of him as a “young man” rather than a”young boy” is a sensible one to make. A young man could have carried the considerable weight of wood required for a sacrifice on his shoulders, a young boy could not. The word used to describe Isaac could be translated either as “young boy” or “young man.”
As a young man, with the physical strength to climb a mountain while carrying heavy wood upon his shoulders, Isaac could have easily overpowered his Father at several points in the story, but didn’t. That is extreme meekness. Not weakness, but meekness. Did Isaac not have plans for his life? Dreams? Of course!
Is there something right now, concerning the divine will for you or for me, to which we need to bow our head in meekness in the presence of our Heavenly Father? “Your will not mine be done.” I think that meekness is perhaps the most neglected item of clothing when it comes to putting off our old selves and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ which of course we are commanded to do, and can do by the grace of God and the power of God’s regenerating Spirit. In the last decade of Charismatic Renewal and seeker friendly Evangelical Christianity, in so far as I have experience of such circles, we seem to have become obsessed with our destinies and our ministries being acknowledged. The strange paradox is that we never reach our destiny until we die to needing to have one, and are prepared for everything we thought was part of that destiny to be stripped away should our Father desire so to do. Sometimes a vision needs to die before it truly lives.
You might be going through the purifying fires of meekness right now. God bless you if you are. The death of our plans and our vision is not as tragic as it seems though it can be a devastating experience. However when we stop warming ourselves by the idol of our own fires and following our own light, we may well be on the verge of being plunged into the fiery hurricane of the Living God and discover the unveiling of His Light upon our path.