Sawn In Two

I’m reading the formidable book “When God Weeps: Why Our Suffering Matters to the Almighty” by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes. The context for this quote is the passage in Genesis 15 where God makes a covenant with Abraham. He moves between carcasses of dead animals saying essentially: “If I fail to keep my word to you and your descendants, I will make myself like these animals–I will saw myself in two” (43).

And then, Israel broke the covenant, and continued day after day to choose evil and actually sank lower than the other evil nations who had been in Canaan before them! “Who now deserved to be sawn in two?” (44).

Now to the quote I keep coming back to: “For God…had created humans to mirror him, not to be miniatures of Lucifer. Something was needed to cut through the stench and salvage this pathetic race. Some medicine more potent than anyone knew of. Some procedure. Some life-giving surgery.

The king became Great Physician. Summoning his compassion and his plumbless wisdom he conceived of a surgery. How to save the patients without trivializing their guilt? (They had knowingly spread the fatal sickness among them.) How to cure them without letting the horror of the disease ever be forgotten? How to mingle mercy with justice? How to slice the cancer from their souls and leave no scar?

He prepared for the procedure by donning not gloves and a lab coat but a mortal body. Did it feel a few sizes too small? He stretched himself upon the operating table. His hand reached for a saw” (45).

(Linking up at quitetheblog and sewmanyways)


8 thoughts on “Sawn In Two

  1. This excerpt is so vivid – – so graphic – – so powerful. It moves me to tears. Wow. I am reminded how much I loved reading Joni’s biography…and hearing her speak at my commencement at Wheaton. God has anointed her as a writer and speaker. And has used this text to strike deep to the core of me tonight.

    Thank you for sharing yet another powerful piece of text, Lisbeth. You have an eye to find them.

  2. Powerful, Lisbeth. Thanks for sharing.
    Reminds me of the nameless martyrs in the Hebrews 11 ” Hall of Faith” who also were sawn in half for not renouncing their faith. They were no less praised than the named heroes of the faith.


    1. Wow, thanks for pointing that out to me, Dad. I checked out Hebrews 11 and read of those who were sawn in two….like their Master, Jesus. Can’t wait to speak with those nameless martyrs someday.

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