Abraham – Holding Fast To The Will Of God
· It's been a long road and a lot of bumps along the way, but Abraham has been growing in his faith. Now, that faith is put to the test. And Abraham didn't know it was coming.
· Of all of God's recorded words and actions in the Bible, what He asks of Abraham in Gen. 22 seems to be the most unfair. God had promised Abraham an heir from the beginning. Isaac was a long time coming, and he was a miracle birth. Now, God asks Abraham to kill his own son.
· Some time has passed (v. 1). Life may have seemed routine and comfortable. Hagar and Ishmael were not around. From out of the blue, God tells Abraham to take Isaac to Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. And when does Abraham leave? The next day (v. 3). Contrast that with the way Abram tarried in Haran when first called to Canaan.
· Why did Abraham go? Read Heb. 11:17-19 for one of the great statements of faith in the Bible
· The journey took three days. Never mind starting the journey, it must have taken a lot of faith to keep going, knowing what was waiting at the end.
· Isaac had been taught the ceremony of sacrifice (v. 7), and wondered where the lamb was. Abraham replied God would provide it.
· God intervenes, and the ram is sacrificed instead. It is the first mention of one life being sacrificed instead of another.
· Note the parallels between the almost sacrifice of Isaac, and the death of Christ on the cross
Ø God told them to go to Mt. Moriah, the very summit where the temple would be built
Ø The journey took 3 days. Christ was in the grave three days.
Ø Isaac's conception and birth was a miracle, as was Christ's.
Ø Christ went to Gethsemane with 3 friends. Isaac traveled with 3 people.
Ø Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice, just as Christ carried the cross.
Ø Abraham told Isaac God would provide the lamb, and God did in the person of Christ.
Ø Isaac was laid on the wood, as Christ was put on the cross.
· Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide. Abraham believed this even though he didn't see the end.
#1) God does not tempt His children; rather, He tests us.
#2) When God tests His children, He prepares us for the trial.
#3) God's tests may come when we least expect them.
#4) God's tests are often designed to help us grow and mature in our most vulnerable areas.
#5) God's tests often appear incongruous and illogical.
For next week, read Genesis 23, 25:1-11