Genesis 22:1-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
Abraham’s Faith Confirmed
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
Dads can give us priceless gifts, cherished forever.
--George W. Bush became Texas Governor, January, 1995.
--His father, our nation's former president, gave him a pair of cuff links, with a special note.
--They were given him, by his father, in 1943.
--The note of love, faith and prayer, was touching.
--My dad gave we children many things money cannot buy.
--Wise counsel, love, a good example, encouragement.
--It is well we have times to honor our fathers.
"Faith of our fathers, we will love,
Both friend and foe in all our strife.
And preach Thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words, and virtuous life." F.W.Faber.
Abraham was a godly dad. Loved God. And his family.
--As some of us, he had a number of crises in life.
--Like when God said, "leave Ur," his home in Iraq.
--God sent him afar, to make a great nation.
--It was a journey of faith that was to be blessed.
--But it was not easy. Crises! When Lot left him.
--Another, when Abraham lost Ishmael.
--But the greatest, when called to give up Isaac.
--A test of Abraham's love for God and his son.
God never approves of human sacrifice; it is wrong.
--Pagan religions did it. This an only time for God.
--Though God did ask it, God did not allow it!
--Had God not promised "Isaac would be father of nations" (Genesis 17:16)? How could he, if dead?
--It forged a strong relationship with father and son.
--As well for both with our Heavenly Father, God.
It shows remarkable similarities to Jesus, our Lord.
--Isaac, Sarah and Abraham's only son. Jesus, God's.
--Abraham told to go to Mount Moriah; Jesus died on it.
--Moriah was the place of Calvary, and crucifixion.
--A "three days" journey from Beer Sheba, to Moriah.
--Jesus was "three days" in a tomb after the cross.
--"God spared not His own Son." Isaac was spared.
--We see how significant all of this is for us all.
To lose a loved one is heart-breaking. Show love now.
Cancer took my only brother, Charles, before my dad.
--Dad said, "I'd rather it had been me." Missed him.
--When our time comes, each must take our own place.
--But Jesus took everyone's place, to give us life!
--To take the sting of death away. Take us with Him.
--Taught us how to love one another. Value life.
Don't you know Abraham agonized over God's request.
--Thought about it deeply. Sought God in prayer.
--He had been walking with God a long time now.
--God had blessed, preserved, provided and guided.
--Had never failed him! Or asked him to do wrong!
--This sacrifice of Isaac was hard to understand.
--Why, God? Why this? Why Isaac? Why a sacrifice?
It was so strange. But Abraham obeyed the Lord God!
--He believed God was able to "Make it work for good."
--What would you, or I, have done? Or do, today?
Genesis 22:2, "Take now your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love." 0 yes, loved very much.
--"Offer him there as a burnt offering." To God.
--Abraham knew it was wrong. How could it be right?
But he obeyed the Lord! That's what we need to do.
--He didn't quibble with God, "You told us 'through Isaac .. God would bless the world,' how, if this?"
--Rather Abraham said, "Not my will, but thine."
What a lesson this is teaching me, as a son or dad.
--To feed on God's Word. What comes, to trust Him.
--To value all my children in deeper love and prayer.
--To tell them so, and show it with hugs, kindness.
--When I make mistakes, to be quick to make amends.
--To strive to make good memories, when together.
So father, son, started from Beer-Sheba to Jerusalem.
--Took the wood, "laid it on Isaac" (Gen. 22:6).
--He carried the wood, like Jesus carried His cross.
--Isaac said, "the fire and wood, where is the lamb?"
--There was no lamb, only Isaac; as Jesus, "the Lamb".
Sometimes all of us are called to make sacrifices.
--To endure sufferings, sorrows, various burdens.
Abraham answered Isaac, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb" (v 8). What amazing faith!
--At the right time, in a miraculous way, God did.
--"A ram caught in a thicket by its horns."
--For Abraham's obedience. Isaac his son was spared.
--Alive again! For three days was as good as dead.
It was all in the divine plan, and by His grace.
--The crisis ended well. They both passed the test.
--God knows Abraham loves Him. Will obey him.
--How does God know? By our obedience to His will.
--God says, "To obey is better than sacrifice."
--He says, "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26).
My friend, we all in time go through various crises.
--They take many forms. Of different degrees.
--Are we going to believe God? Trust and obey Him?
--Or go our own way? He has given us a Savior!
--Jesus, Who has proven Himself, and His love for us.
--One Who worked so many miracles for others.
--And able to do the same for us, if in His will.
When God said, "Take your son, your only son," He was declaring it takes a "son" like His Son, to save us.
--It takes "a Mediator between God and man" - Jesus!
--One Who took our place on a cross .. our "Lamb."
--Who "arose the third day from the dead..."
--Who said, "Because I live, you shall live also."
--There's no other Savior or religion like the Lord!
Then God said to Abraham, verse 16, "because you have done this thing .. and not withheld your son, your only son - blessing I will bless you .. in your seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
--"In your seed." Abraham, Isaac, on down to Jesus!
--Go to Galatians 3:16, "and to your seed .. who is Christ." A descendant, humanly, of all these!
--Ultimately Jesus is the God-Man to bless all!
--He blesses all nations, by saving individuals.
Sometimes we think dads or older folks are not smart.
--At least, not as wise as we.
--But my friend, you and I can learn a lot from them!
Their years have given them a wisdom very valuable.
--Let's learn all we can from them while we can.
--Jesus commended Abraham, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day (the time of Jesus), and he saw it (by faith), and was glad" (John 856).
--Just as, by faith, we look back, when Jesus came.
--And we look forward, by faith, to Christ's return!
--You see, spiritual life with God is all by faith.
Our day needs dads, moms, lads, lassies, of faith!
--Friends, we have obstacles and challenges before us.
--Difficulties and divisions are worsening, all over.
--So many have "their own religion" without the Lord.
--So many drifting away from God. Bible and worship.
--Some churches thriving, many others floundering.
--Where is our loyalty? The family altar we need?
Dad taught us to do right. To admit if wrong.
--Even in his discipline, afterwards he hugged us.
--Told me he loved me, and it hurt him worse than me.
--As a dad I know that's true - yet different places!
I want to remember all dad taught me. And others.
--To teach it to my children .. and grandchildren.
--To all who will look or listen. And to live it.
--To show. the love of the Lord that will inspire.
Abraham endeavored to do that. How about all of us?
--Jesus said, "Let your light so shine among men."
--How do we? "That they may see your good works."
--That is, the work of Jesus's salvation and Spirit.
--Why? "And glorify your Father in heaven" (Mt .5:16).
--That God be glorified .. not us.
I was blessed to have my parents attend my graduation, from two seminaries, in different years.
--Took him with me to meet classmates and teachers.
--Listened to his teaching, that helped me greatly.
Let's learn of Jesus .. and from Him, from His Word.
--Learn from one another. Patience. Forgiveness.
--The many virtues. And the "fruits of the Spirit."
--It all begins when we are "born again" in Him.
--How about you? Come.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 812