God Tests Abrahams.

(
Genesis 22: 1—19)

 

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. 

14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The Lord it shall be provided." 

15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 

16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son--

17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your
descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 

18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." 

19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went
together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. 


V1 God tested Abraham.
This test was not to produce faith but to test Abraham’s faith. We have seen over the course of the previous chapters that Abraham believed God and his belief was counted for righteousness.


Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

However, we have also seen time and time again, Abraham experiencing doubts, doubting that God would, or could fulfil His promises. We have seen Abraham fall into temptation because of doubt and through lack of trust. We read in Genesis 12 about the experience of going down to Egypt because of the famine and lying about Sarah being his sister.
We have read about Abraham asking if it was possible that Ishmael could inherit the promises.

Gen 17:18 And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!" 
 

We have seen both Abraham and Sarah laughing at the possibility of Sarah bearing a child of her own.
 

Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" 

Gen 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

In chapter 12 of Genesis we read of Abraham lying in Egypt.

In Chapter 20 of Genesis we read of Abraham’s repeated sin of lying to Abimelech king of Gerar, about Sarah being his sister and not his wife.

We have also seen God being gracious to Abraham, showing patience and continuing to bless him, in spite of all of his failings.
We have seen God building Abraham’s character over a period of many years, step by step, process by process.
Now we see Abraham’s greatest test of his faith.

 "Take now your son, your only son Isaac”.
A question arises here as to why God said, “your son, your only son”
The Hebrew here for “only”is yâchı̂yd (sole; by implication beloved; also lonely; solitary).
Though this was Abraham's second son it was Abraham’s and Sarah's first and only child.
Ishmael was born out of unbelief and Isaac was the true son of the promise.
Also at this point, Hagar and Ishmael were legally separated from Abraham. Ishmael would never have contact with Abraham again until Abraham’s funeral when Ishmael and Isaac buried him together.

 

The binding of Isaac.

The sacrifice of Isaac is known in Hebrew as Ha-Aqedah, meaning (the binding).

“offer him there as a burnt offering”. This was not to burn him alive, but to sacrifice him, (kill him) and then burn him.

V3 So Abraham rose early in the morning.

We do not see Abraham questioning God on this occasion, he rises early, packs his donkey, takes Isaac and two others and takes all that he needs for this journey and sets out.

V3 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.

Now, we could stop here and ask the question, what exactly is God

doing? we know that later in Deuteronomy 12:31 and 18:10, God says that child sacrifice is wrong.

Deu 12:31  Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 

Deu 18:10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 
 

Was this just a testing of Abraham’s faith, or was God using this as a typological event that points to something in the future, a signpost to the greatest event that could ever take place. When another Father would offer His only begotten Son, as a sacrifice for the sins of
mankind.

One cannot miss the typology here.

Abraham was to offer his only son.
"Take now your son, your only son Isaac,
God offered His only Son John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice. Gen 22: 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son;

Jesus carried the wooden cross on which He would be sacrificed.

Joh 19:17  And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 
 

Isaac cried to his father.Gen 22:7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!"

Jesus cried out to His Father.
Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 
 

Isaac escaped death after three days. Gen 22:4 Then on the third day.

Jesus rose from the dead after three days. Mat 16:21  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 
 

Abraham said, “God will provide Himself a lamb” Gen 22:8  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 

God provided the Lamb for the sacrifice. Isa 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 


God provided a male sacrifice. Gen 22:13 and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

God provided Jesus, a male sacrifice. John 3:16. His only begotten Son.

The ram was caught in a thicket of thorns. Gen 22:13 was a ram caught in a thicket.

Jesus carried a crown of thorns
Mat 27:29  And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head,
 

Thorns, a symbol of sin. Gen 3:18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 


The sacrifice of Isaac was on mount Moriah. Gen 22:2 the land of Moriah.

It was on the same mount that Jesus was crucified. The same place that sacrificial offerings were made for the people at Solomon’s temple.
2Ch 3:1  Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah.

Why did Abraham not question God?

It seems obvious that Abraham believed that God would either spare his son or that God would raise Isaac from the dead. From Abraham’s words to the young men that had accompanied them.


V5 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." 
 

Abraham knew the promise of God, “in Isaac your seed shall be called” (Genesis 21:12), and Isaac had yet to have any children. God had to let him live at least long enough to have children.

However, even though he knew this he did not know what God had in mind but Abraham was willing to follow God’s instructions and put his trust in God.
This is recorded later in the scriptures.

(
Hebrews 11:17-19) By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only
begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called,
" concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Isaac was as good as dead to Abraham and it was from this situation that Isaac was raised from the dead.
To Abraham this was a prefiguring of the Messiah’s death and resurrection.

Spurgeon quote:
 From the dead, from which he also received him: As far as Abraham was concerned, Isaac was as good as dead and it was from the dead that he received him back, in a manner that prefigured the resurrection of Jesus. End of Quote.

It is possible that this refers to the incident that Jesus referred to in 
John 8:56, when Jesus said: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad.

Abraham’s faith was rewarded, as God stayed his hand.

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." 
 

The Lord provided a sacrifice.

14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The Lord it shall be provided."
 

Jehovah jireh, which means, “The-Lord-Will-Provide”
 

Again we see God giving Abraham assurance of His promises

15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 

16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—


Why did God swear by Himself?

Hebrews 6:13 spells it out: "For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by
himself."

 

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say:
Hebrews 6:16–17 "For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath".
 
In other words, what God is about to promise to Abraham in the following verses carries huge significance. So, God uses a human
concept, for the sake of our human understanding.

 

V17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 

18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." 
 

History has shown that God indeed keeps His promises. Abraham’s seed was multiplied and blessed and from that seed came the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
We ourselves, as Christians are proof of God’s fulfilled promise.

We are the seed of Abraham,

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
 

May we recognise that God keeps His promises and that  faith reaps reward.

1. Faith brings salvation. (
Ephesians 2:8,9). Whosoever believes in Him has eternal life. (John 3:16), and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24). The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
2. Faith brings answers to prayer. “And whatever things you ask in prayer,

really believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22). Since God tells us to pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11), faith is therefore a key to our material provision.

3. Faith brings all the benefits of salvation into our lives (Ephesians 2:8,9). This includes healing, prosperity, peace, love, joy (1 Peter 1:8), deliverance , sanctification of the mind and emotions (the salvation of the soul) and any other benefit which the word of God promises to us.

4. Faith is a spiritual force through which our ministry for Christ becomes
effective. (
Mark 11:23; Matthew 17:19,20). Faith is a major key to ministry success. It brings to you what you need for your ministry, and by imparting it to others through your life and your ministry of God’s Word, you enable them to receive the blessings of God’s grace mentioned above.

5. In particular, faith is the major key for an effective healing and deliverance ministry. Jesus Christ “the same yesterday, today and forever” lives in the Christian (
Hebrews 13:8, Galatians 2:20), and through the Christian, God wants to reveal the power of salvation to men in a way they can see and feel. In this way, our evangelism concerning the Kingdom of God will not be in talk, but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20).
 

We must work out,  our salvation. (Not work for but put our faith into practice)
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Matt 5:16 16: Let your light shine before men,
that.they may see your good works, and. glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Faith Without Works Is Dead.

James 2:14-18 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 
16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 
17 
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

 

Abraham’s faith was tested and he showed his faith by his works, his obedience to the Word of God.

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