Genesis 22

Genesis 22 contains the very familiar story of Abraham and Isaac.  The chapter is really all about one thing – “God tested Abraham”.  Abraham was a righteous man from previous scripture.  But God wants to test him all the way.  So he commands Abraham “Take your son, your only son Isaac…..offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains”.Pretty tall order isn’t it – to sacrifice the son he waited 100 years to have.  You might think that Abraham would at least question what God was up to.  But here is his response: “Abraham rose early in the morning….he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place”. Are you getting the picture here?  Complete and total obedience to God’s command even when it doesn’t seem to make any sense on the surface.  How would you have responded?  Do you follow no matter what the circumstances?

Abraham takes off to the place God told him to go.  This was no short trip so he had lots of time to think about what God had asked him to do.  And his response: “On the third day….Abraham took the wood….laid it on Isaac his son….he took in his hand the fire and the knife”.  To be honest, after three days of thinking about this I likely would have turned around and headed the other way. But not Abraham – he continues to follow God’s direction.  The point where I know I would have struggled would have been when Isaac figures out something is missing from this picture – there is no lamb to sacrifice: “where is the lamb for a burnt offering”?  Now Abraham has to deal with his son beginning to get a picture of what is happening and making the situation very real.

But Abraham presses on.  He tells Isaac “God will provide” even though he doesn’t really know how or what that means.  There certainly was nothing apparent at that time that showed anything other than Isaac to be the sacrifice.  So Abraham carries on. He “bound Isaac ….laid him on the altar…. took the knife”.  This is going to happen.  Abraham truly is going to sacrifice his son as God had asked.  That is, until the angel of the Lord stops him.  Can you picture it.  Isaac bound and lying their, Abraham with knife in hand, ready to strike, and a voice comes to him saying ‘stop’. This could have quickly become a big disaster had God not moved when He did.  But as is always the case – it happens in Gods’ time and God’s way. 

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven….now I know that you fear God”.  Couldn’t there have been a different way to check this out God?  It seem  pretty intense.  It is – by God’s design.  He needed to know that Abraham was all in.  Why?  Because God was setting up the future here.  He was making a covenant for all of history.  “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring….because you have obeyed”.  The foundation was a man who was obedient to whatever God called him to do. Abraham was being tested – and he passed the test.  He was all in to obeying God no matter what the ask.  He never blinked or hesitated.  He only obeyed.  That must describe our obedience as well.  If we want God’s blessing – we need to be willing to do God’s business.  Are you?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on June 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    How does the example of Abraham’s willingness to offer up his only son foreshadow God’s offering of his only begotten son? And how does this set us an example of what we should be willing to offer as sacrifice to God?

    Reply

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