Donate/Tithe with Bank Deposit (direct to Mike Connell)

Pashat, Drash, Remez and Sod (1 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 4 of 10
So 5,000 of them self-castrated, they took knives and they castrated themselves, and they threw them on the altar. They burned them up as an offering to Kibela - 5,000 men went through this procedure that day, so that Kibela would be pleased with them. Actually if you go visit Sardis today, that altar is a tourist attraction; so if you're ever walking through a tourist walk in Sardis, and you see an altar - don't sit on it!

So what they did to please the gods and goddesses got worse and worse and worse. Finally, God appears to a man named Abraham, and He says: Abraham, My name is El Shaddai. Now you've got to think about this in context. The Bible does not take place outside the space-time continuum of human history. It takes place within a story, so there's a guy named Abraham. Who did he worship? Lots of idols, but you know - he worshipped the sun during the day, and the moon at night. If you worship the sun during the day, and the moon at night, and you have all these other idols, what question are you left with? Who's in charge? Who's the God in charge?

How does God reveal Himself to Abraham? Abraham says: what's your name - you're the only God talking? What's your name? And He says: My name is El Shaddai; which translates: I'm God Almighty. In other words, I know that deep inside your heart, you're wondering who's actually in charge. I'm the one in charge - that's Me.

You see this in the New Testament as well. Paul shows up at a place called Mars Hill, and it says: I see outside that you have a statue to a God, and it says under it: to an unknown God. He said: I'm here to declare to you who this is. In other words, God didn't show up to Abraham and go: I am the one true Almighty God. No, He says: hang on, you've got a bunch of gods, you're asking a question, who's in charge. I'm just here to tell you: I'm the one in charge. Abraham says: great, well at least you're talking. Tell me - what do you want from me?

Now think about it, think about our discussion. What two things did the gods want from their people? Sacrifice and self-mutilation; so what did God tell Abraham to do? He said: I want you to circumcise yourself - self-mutilation - which would have been an interesting conversation wouldn't it? Abraham's like: well the other gods want us to cut our arm. You want me to do what? With what? So God's first command, to a 90 year old man, was to circumcise himself with a rock.

So God's first command to a 90 year old man was: rock; swing hard; don't miss. Imagine the shaky 90 year old man - oh God, oh God! He definitely wouldn't want to miss. So He says: I want you to self-mutilate. What's the other thing He asked Abraham to do? Sacrifice his son.

Now do you notice that there's nothing interesting about that at all to Abraham. That is totally normal, except for the part of the body. He says: You want me to self-mutilate, and You want me to sacrifice my son? Yes! That's no different than the other gods and goddesses.

You notice Abraham in that story- he doesn't have to ask how. It says: so Abraham took Isaac to a high place. How did he know to do that? Well he knew to do that, because that's what the other gods and goddesses asked for, so he takes Isaac up to this high place. He goes to kill him, and you guys know this story, what happens? God stops him and actually provides the sacrifice.

That is the first time in the history of the world, that a God was recorded to stop a sacrifice, in order to provide one? So there was something different about this God. This God wasn't a taker - this God was a giver.