A young couple were thrilled with their new home. They invited the pastor to come round to bless and consecrate it. Together they laid hands on every piece of furniture, offering the whole home up to God for his use. A couple of years down the line, he lost his job, and they lost their beautiful home and everything in it. “Why has this happened to us?” they beseeched their pastor. He could only remind them that they had offered it all up to God. It was his business what he did with it.
Judah too, learned that lesson. He had offered himself as guarantor for the safety of his young brother Benjamin. I’m sure he had no idea that that would be required of him. Yet when push came to shove, he indeed offered himself to serve as a slave to Joseph (Genesis 44:33-34) in place of Benjamin, when the silver cup had been found in his sack. He was willing to redeem his brother by offering up his own life. Just like his descendent – the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – who not only was willing, but went all the way to the cross to pay for our sins, that we might have true freedom. Unlike Jesus, in the end it was not required of him.
How many hymns and spiritual songs encourage us to ‘offer up our lives as a living sacrifice’ or to ‘surrender all’ or to declare that we are ‘wholly available’ and ‘laying it all down’ to his service? And when we sing them, do we really mean it? And what if God took us up on the offer? What if he took everything we say we are offering? Would we still mean it then?