And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning,
(Ref- there are those that teach that there was some hesitation or reluctance on the part of Abraham at this command, there is no support for this in the scripture. On the contrary, we see a picture of unwavering faith which has grown through many trials and is now trusting God.) (Romans 4:20 “staggered not”)
and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and cleaved the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
(Ref-we see that Abraham’s words to the young men were a testimony of the faith that he had that God would see that nothing would cause His promise to fail. Abraham was expecting in faith that he and Isaac would be coming back down that mountain together even though he really didn’t know how. He knew that God was able to do anything. ) (Hebrews 11:17-19)
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spoke unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh:
(“Jehovah-jireh means Jehovah will provide”)
as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba
Verse 2 “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
What we see in Genesis 22 is the most telling point in the life of the great patriarch Abraham. He is tested here in such a way that only God could know the outcome. Abraham himself probably could not know for sure how he would perform under such a severe command. We all are this way in our own lives and our own minds. No doubt we have all seen someone else, at some time or other, facing trials that we ourselves would greatly fear to face ourselves. There are some things that I don’t believe I could stand. Some times God desires things of us simply to show us the truth that His Grace is sufficient to bring us through. No doubt, Abraham was only able to face this trial in such a heroic manner because of the measure of Grace ministered to him by Almighty God.
Take note of Abraham’s walk through this terrible test and note it well; and while we are looking at Abraham’s example of faith we need to examine our own hearts and lives. There will be a time in our lives that we will be tested. Faith that is never tried is not faith at all, and we shall all be tested. It seems that repentance, testing and chastisement are three forgotten aspects of Christianity in this age of easy believism. But these things are sure to come in the lives of all who are the children of God.
In looking at Abraham in this passage, we need to remind ourselves of some things. (Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”)
We must learn to walk by faith as Abraham did. In this we have a great advantage over our father Abraham in that we have God’s written word. We can read the end of the book and know the outcome ahead of time. We need to be careful to keep this in mind and as we note Abraham’s conduct in this passage. And we need to remember that…
I. We must all be tested…
A. Faith must be tested…we must not allow ourselves to be too discouraged by the trials that come our way because…
We can praise God for Romans 8:28
1. faith that is not tried is not faith at all…
2. faith must be strengthened; and developed; like film, it is developed in the dark
3. we walk by faith…
a. not only in method, or our manner of life,
b. but also our means of walking, the one enabling characteristic of walking in the way of righteousness is that saving faith which is imparted to us by God.
It is that precious faith that helps us, strengthens us, and enables us to take that next step. It is the only thing that gets bigger with use, you can’t use it up. The more it is exercised the bigger and stronger that it becomes. The trying of our faith will turn out for our benefit. No wonder Jesus said that we should rejoice when we are reviled and persecuted for His Name’s sake.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 1Peter 1:3-9
II. Our greatest test will concern that which we love most in this life…
A. For Abraham it was Isaac…
1. his child
2. he had waited 25 years for this promised son…
3. had to lay it on the altar and let it go…
God seeks our hearts, our minds, our wills…SURRENDER!!!
What will we do? How will we perform in such a time as this in our own lives? It is a fearful thing to give serious consideration. God will test us and He will test us with those things that mean the most too us. I have often been told that whatever comes between you and God, whatever brings you the greatest joy in this world is your god. It is not hard to become distracted and be drawn away by something that we think much of. We may have longed for years for children, for a specific possession, or maybe a professional position concerning our career. God will allow us to be tested concerning whatever we may be most fond of.
III. And Abraham knew that man can not do it on his own. Look at his answer to Isaac…
“My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering.”
We must come to the realization that we cannot do it ourselves. We may find an altar (a place of sacrifice), we may find the cross,(a place of repentance and hope), but we cannot find the Saviour, He has never been lost.
God seeks us out, comes to us, comes for us, finds us, invites us, welcomes us, embraces us…and Praise God, for time and eternity, He saves us. It is all of Him, by Him, and for Him.
Hallelujah to God we are the happy recipients of the Gift of God which we, in our wildest dreams could never have thought of for ourselves.
Abraham realized, and depended on the truth that God is able to do for us all that we will ever stand in need of, to provide for us all that we will ever need, no matter what the trial. Abraham had faith that God would because he knew God had been thus far.
God did not require the death of Isaac, but the surrender of Abraham’s will…
Sometimes just being willing is enough…
Willing to obey……God will protect and provide
(the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the den of lions, David said, “Thou prepares a table for me in the presence of mine enemies” in Psalm 23.)
Willing to sacrifice……………God will reward
(the widow who made Elijah a little cake first, the great woman of Shunem who built a room for the prophet) (Billy Sunday, the railroad-man paid a few cents for a train ticket to help his widowed mother send her boys to the home in Chicago…over one million souls made a profession in his revival meetings.)
Willing to go…….………………God will provide
(God parted the waters for the children of Israel to cross, Jesus calmed the storm for the disciples to sail, God sent His Son to make a way for us.)