God and Avraham have entered into a covenant, and now they are a team. Because they are a team, Avraham does things for God that God (because He has limited himself in order to create the Universe…) can no longer do for himself.
Pay no attention to the globalist ideologues that run the Scandinavian Nobel Prize committees: the Jewish poet of our age is not the other guy, but Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen has departed, but at the same time firmly established his presence with his final song – whose central motif is Hineni/Here I am.
אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה
וְהָאֱלֹהִים נִסָּה אֶת אַבְרָהָם
God tested Avraham
He said to him
and he answered
Here I am
Avraham was the first to say Hineni, and he said it more than once. There were others that said it too (Yakov, Yosef, Paro. God).
Interestingly, Esav, the archetypical spiller of blood, said it as well:
כִּי זָקֵן יִצְחָק
וַתִּכְהֶיןָ עֵינָיו מֵרְאֹת
וַיִּקְרָא אֶת עֵשָׂו בְּנוֹ הַגָּדֹל
And it happened
when Yitzhak was old
and his eyes were too dim to see
that he called his older son Esav
and said to him
and he said to him
Here I am
The first time Avraham said Hineni, he indeed answered the call from the Sky. But Avraham had no inkling yet of what God required of him.
The second time Avraham says Hineni to God is a few days after that. Now Avraham is already on the mountain. He has already bound Yitzhak (Isaac) and placed him on the pyre. Avraham has stretched his hand towards the knife and is about to slaughter his son.
At this point, Avraham is again addressed from the Sky:
וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם
Then the angel of God called to him from the Sky
and he said
Here I am
Again, Avraham says Hineni. But this time the Hineni (God forbid) is the Hineni of Esav.
It is true that God is testing Avraham. But it is also true that Avraham is testing God.
I am here, says Avraham, unconditionally willing to do your bidding. But where are YOU, God? And WHO are You? Are you the God of Esav who rejoices in the spilling of blood?
At the height of this famous and dramatic scene, God emphatically denies that he has any desire for bloodshed or takes any pleasure in the spilling of human blood.
Now Avraham knows it, and now the whole world knows it too.
The world is certainly full of bloodshed and suffering, but God is not implicated in this. He takes no pleasure in it.
If we see bloodshed and suffering all about us – it is not the will of God. If there is darkness, we have to look for the reason somewhere else.