TEXT: Genesis 22:1-14
1 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.
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.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 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.
6 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.
7 And Isaac spake 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?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 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.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 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.
13 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.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
— PRAYER —
How to Hope: Lessons from the Jews and Their Messianic Expectation, Part 6
Bruce Waltke said, “God tests his saints often through adversity or hardship in order to prove the quality of their faith by their obedience in the actual time-space continuum we call ‘history.’ In ‘the binding of Isaac,’ the saint is torn between his faith in the divine promises and the command to nullify them, between his affection for God’s gift and his affection for God. For some reason, God chose this history to validate reality. He does not test us to lead us into sin, but to test the quality of what we are. The proof of what we are is what we do. We are not to put God to the test, but to respond humbly and obediently when God calls. This is Abraham’s stance when he replies, ‘Here I am.’ Abraham’s humility and obedient action are the models for Christian faith.”
The sacrifice of Isaac is one of the most well-known episodes in Abraham’s life. This man had left behind his family, all of his acquaintances, his religion, and his familiar environment to go to a strange land. Along the way, God told him that he, a 100-year-old man, and his wife, a 90-year-old woman, would have a child who would carry on the family lineage — a key element in God’s plan to make Abraham the father of a great nation. Yet, when Isaac comes of age, God comes to Abraham and says, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
It seems particularly cruel that God would remind Abraham that Isaac is his only son and the son whom he loves in the same sentence in which He commands Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham was not a stranger to the practice of sacrifice. Almost all of the pagan religions of that day engaged in the ritual slaughter of animals as part of their religious practice. Abraham himself had sacrificed animals as a form of worship to God. But to sacrifice a child — an only child, a child beloved by his parents — was unheard of. Yet, Abraham obeyed God even in this matter.
Abraham did not know it, but his sacrifice of Isaac was a type of what God the Father would do with his only begotten and beloved Son — and Abraham’s descendant, Jesus Christ, hundreds of years in the future. Isaac foreshadows the Son of God, who would willingly obey the will of His Father, even unto death.
But what does Abraham’s example mean for Christians living today in expectation of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. David Guzik lists three reasons we ought to follow Abraham’s example of obedience:
(1) “Abraham’s obedience showed that he trusted God, even when he did not understand. Sometimes we say, ‘I’m not going to obey or believe until I understand it all,’ but that is to put ourselves on an equal standing with God, and only He understands the end from the beginning.”
(2) “Abraham’s obedience showed that he didn’t debate or seek counsel from others. He knew what to do and refused to use stalling tactics.” He did not even provide an opportunity for those who would sympathize with his feelings or delay him in following God’s plan.
(3) “Abraham’s obedience showed that he trusted God, even when he did not feel like it. There is not a line in this text about how Abraham felt, not because he didn’t feel, but because he walked by faith, not feelings.”
Abraham did not know all of the whys and hows of what God had commanded him to do. Likewise, we do not know all of the hows, whys, and whens of what God commands of us. We do not know all of the hows, whys, and whens of the Second Coming. But our job, in the meantime, is to obey God without question and without letting our doubts or the opposition of others get in the way.
William J. Henry wrote:
I’ll follow Jesus here, I’ll never, never fear,
Though Satan’s tempting pow’rs assail;
And though I’m tempted sore, I’ll trust Him evermore,
For through His grace I shall prevail.
I’ll follow by His side, whatever may betide,
Though perils thickly throng the way;
Though billows deep may roll, there’s naught can harm my soul,
For He is with me night and day.
I’ll follow all the way, I’ll never, never stray,
This world no more can win my love;
I’ve left it all behind, more lasting joys to find,
My treasures all are stored above.
I’ll follow, follow on until the crown is won,
And heaven’s gates unfold to me;
Then with my harp in hand, I’ll join that happy band,
And praise Him throughout eternity.
Now, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to trust in Him because He is coming again and you do not want to be left behind. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and the consequences of sin.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.