Reading: Genesis 22:1-12
The story “On Deck” was written by Howard J. Chidley and published in Fifty-Two Story Talks to Boys and Girls in 1914. No longer in print, it is available free online.
Introduction: This is a longer reading today, but it is a story that you have read before. Often this story is told to teach people about the faith of Abraham. It is truly a great story of how he believed and obeyed God.
Today I would like you to think of the way Isaac behaves in this story. What did Isaac do? Imagine how this story would have ended if….
… Isaac had said he didn’t have time to help his father that day.
… Isaac had fought Abraham.
… Isaac went to find a sheep to take his place.
When I was a boy I belonged to a baseball team in the village where I lived, and when we played games with a team from another village we had a scorer who not only kept tally of the runs, but also told us who was to be the next at the bat. He would say, “So-and-so is at the bat, So-and-so is on deck.” And when he told a boy he was “on deck,” that boy knew he was to be the next one at the bat.
Boys and girls are always on deck, whether they are playing ball or not, for a boy or girl never knows when he is going to be called upon to play some part in the game called Life. And the strange thing about it is, there is no scorer who tells you that you are on deck. So you never get any warning, and you may be on deck and not know it, and so miss your chance.
Samuel, for instance, was a boy who used to close the curtains and put out the candles at night in the temple away back hundreds of years before Christ was born. One evening he had put out the lights and closed the curtains, just the same as he had a hundred times before, and then lay down to sleep. He little thought that this particular day he was on deck, and was to be called into the game by God. But that night God called him, and sent him on a very important errand that was to change his whole life and the history of his people.
And things like that are happening in America to-day. I read a story the other day of a young student who was overtaken by a rainstorm, and borrowed an umbrella of a lawyer. He returned it a few days later with a note of thanks. Not long afterward he received a letter from the lawyer offering him a position in his office on account of his good handwriting. The student took the position, kept on with his studies in college, and after he graduated from college went right along in that office till he became a man of influence. He didn’t know what it meant when he wrote that note. He was on deck.
The lesson that I want to draw is this: That you must be on the lookout and do well the things that come to you each day, for who knows but you may be on deck that very day, and be called to play some important part? For only those are called who are on deck; that is, ready to play. The boy or girl who does not do his work well day by day may miss his chance of being called to take some larger place in life when the times comes. Take this motto from the Old Testament: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
For Further Study:
- Read Revelation 2:2, 13 and 19. Does God notice what we do for Him?
- Read James 1:2-4 and also verse 12. What is good about having tests and trials? Can you have a strong faith without them? Who will receive a crown of life in heaven?
- Read Ephesians 6:1. If you were a parent, how would you want your child to honor you? Are you doing these things for your parents?