We All Pick a God
After these things God tested Abraham . . . He said, “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 on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1-2
Though I wouldn’t have seen it this way at the time, I once made a god of my opioid pills. It wasn’t a conscious choice but if you’d have observed my entire life, you’d have seen that I served the drug above all. I didn’t start out there, but eventually, the drug consumed my life as I sacrificed everything for it – family, marriage, career, integrity, and reputation. The drug was what I thought of when I laid my head down at night and it was my first thought when I woke up. Where are my pills? I served the drug above all. That was my god. This left little room for the God in whom I claimed to believe. With the drug dictating my behavior, I was unable to follow God and his will for my life. The drug’s path and God’s path were nowhere near each other and I couldn’t walk both paths. I had to make a choice and my choice had profoundly painful consequences.
Today’s passage is about choosing a god. It’s one of my least favorite passages of the Bible because it’s one of those tests that I think I may fail. In it, God commanded Abraham to literally sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham loved Isaac and must have had a tremendous internal struggle. The next morning though, Abraham set out to obey God. Why would God ask such a thing of Abraham? As the passage says, it was a test. Who is your god? Would Abraham follow God above all, sacrificing everything for him? Or was Isaac his god?
When we say we follow God above all, we don’t often consider this passage. Could I give up a child if God asked? Not many of us could pass that test. We all pick a god though. Even if we say we don’t believe in God, we all have something we live for. For some of us, it’s our family. For others, it’s intellect, career, sex, status, or any number of things. Even as those who claim to follow Christ, our lives often reveal that we follow some other god. The problem is that anything other than the one true God, cannot support the weight of our lives. Drugs, sex, food, money, even family, will crumble under the weight of being god and our lives will eventually collapse in futility at the strain. Only God can meet all our deepest needs and it’s only in pursuing him above all that we may experience the life, joy, and peace for which we were made. We all pick our god and there are profound consequences for our choice. Daily, we must pick wisely.