“A Great Work” by Glenn Packiam. Based on the passage from Nehemiah 6.
As I read “Fear and Trembling” by Kierkegaard, I realised that our ideas of a magnificence story that we should live are build around scenes of conquests and domination. We love to read about the tragic hero who goes through his mundane life, only to face with conflict and makes the ultimate sacrifice; this is what makes a good story. And that does make sense.
But what I’m struck by is that a knight of faith, that came in the form of Abraham, does not make the sacrifice (Issac) because it goes against his wishes and thus would make it a test; he does it because he truly believe with all of his being that God surely make it right in spite of him being deemed a murderer once the offering has been made. Abraham really does want to kill Issac as a response to God’s command, which seem to go against the promises that His Creator has proclaimed to him.
The knight of faith went against all common sense and the universal laws and trust His God to make things right.
Heaven and earth collide.
A great work? A spiritual act? If you ask me, what Abraham did was not only unspectacular, it was downright ludicrous and barbaric.
But he knew. He trusted. And he believed.
Kierkegaard repeatedly emphasized, “Don’t call Abraham a tragic hero. His act is far from a sacrifice. This is not just a test or an examination of the heart.” Abraham has already fully invested in the task at hand long before he took that walk to Mount Moriah.
He knew. He trusted. He believed.
And there were other knights as well – involved in this great work.
Job, who struggled with his doubts and questioned the One who commands the Leviathon and the Behemoth. Jacob, who was never the same again after a wrestling match at Peniel.
Nehemiah, the builder of walls, brick by brick, who asked God to remember him for his labors.
Do I matter, God? Does it matter that I make a stand against the oppression of the systems in our world? That I look like a fool in the eyes of man, being still before You and seeking Your face?
God-sized dreams. Bah. Help me let those go.
Remember me. As I learn to invest my life in your Story, with the everydayness of the stuff that seemed ordinary. Show me purpose in the chaos of advertisements, pluralism and pragmatic opinions through Your Word, the life of Your Son and the leading of Your Spirit.
Help me die. Which is the greatest work of all.