Abraham's Great Sacrifice Genesis 22

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1 Message for THE LORD'S DAY EVENING, February 4, 2018 Christian Hope Church of Christ, Plymouth, North Carolina by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister Message 3 in Greatest Chapters of The Bible Sermon Series Abraham's Great Sacrifice Genesis 22 Thus far in our series on The Greatest Chapters In The Bible we have looked at Genesis 1 which begins with those wonderful words, In the beginning GOD... And the chapter goes on to tell us about how our wonderful Creator brought everything into existence by the power of His word, climaxing with His creation of Man in His own image. Then last Sunday night we looked at Genesis 3 which tells us how GOD'S great and wonderful creation became marred with sin and it introduced us to Satan, the source of all sin and all of this world's woes. Tonight our study brings us to GENESIS CHAPTER TWENTY TWO. This chapter has sometimes been described as Holy Ground because it is here we are given a foreshadow of God's sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Because we have a lot of ground to cover tonight I want to go ahead and get right into the message. First of all in this wonderful chapter... I. We Are Told of A GREAT SAINT (v. 1) Genesis 22:1 (NKJV) Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am.

2 1. The Old Testament introduces us to many great men of faith such as Joseph, and Daniel, and Moses, and Elijah and many others. But at the very top of that list of great men of faith stands a man by the name of Abraham. The name Abraham means Father of a multitude. If you and I were to trace our spiritual roots to their origin those roots would lead us right to Abraham. 2. Abraham's story actually begins God's call to him back in Genesis 12 when his name was Abram. ( exalted father ) God said to Abram... 1 Go from your country, your people and your father s household to the land I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV) 3. Although this promise may have seemed a bit far-fetched to Abram because he was 75 and his wife Sarai was 65 and they had never been able to have children; Abram obeyed what the LORD told him to do. He packed up all his belongings and he, and Sarai, and his nephew Lot, and his servants left their home in Ur of the Chaldees and began their journey of faith to the land that GOD would show them. 4. In Genesis 15 GOD appeared to Abram in a vision saying, Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. But Abram said, LORD GOD, hat will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezar of Damascus? (Genesis 15:1,2 NKJV) GOD told Abram that Eliezar would not be his heir. GOD promised Abram a son who would provide him with a countless number of descendants like the stars of in the heavens.

3 5. In Genesis 16 we read about that tragic account where Abram and Sarai took matters in their own hands when Sarai had Abram father a child through her handmaiden Haggar. Once Haggar gave birth to Ishmael, Sarai became deeply bitter and resentful towards Haggar and she had Abram send her away. 6. In Genesis 17 God made a covenant with Abram, reaffirming His promise to bless him with a son. Abram responded by falling down in laughter. 7. In Genesis 18 God changed Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah. 8. Genesis 19 tells us about the destruction of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Sodom of course being the city where Abraham's nephew Lot and his family lived. 9. Genesis 20 tells us about Abraham's shameful behavior at Gerar where he and Sarah concocted a lie about her being his sister rather than his wife so Abimilech wouldn't have him killed. 10. And then in Genesis 21 God fulfilled the promise He had made to Abraham 25 years earlier, when GOD blessed Abraham and Sarah with their very first child. They named him Isaac, which means laughter. Abraham was now 100 years old and Sarah was And so in GENESIS 22 we meet Abraham, this great saint of GOD in what would become the most defining moment of his life. That brings us to our second thought and that is in GENESIS 22...

4 II. We Are Told of A GREAT SACRIFICE (vs. 1-5) 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. 1. After waiting their whole adult lives to have a child, GOD now commands Abraham to do the unthinkable. Pay very close attention to how specifically GOD spelled out His command. 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. 2. Did Abraham not have anything else that GOD could have required of him? -He would gladly have given GOD all of his flocks of sheep. -He would have gladly have handed over all his gold and silver.

5 3. If it was a human sacrifice GOD wanted, why not require the life of Eliezar, the one Abraham originally planned to leave all his inheritance before he had a son. Or why didn't GOD require the life of Ishmael, the son Abraham had fathered through Haggar, Sarah's hand-maiden? 4. But GOD required of Abraham the life of his son...his only son...the son whom he loved. It almost seemed cold and heartless that GOD would remind Abraham just how much he loved this one whom GOD was asking him to sacrifice. 5. And not only was Abraham losing his beloved son, he was losing him him in the most bitter, the most horrible manner possible. He had to take the life of his beloved son himself. His son would die by his own will. His son would die by his own hand. How could he live with himself after this? How could he tell Sarah the awful thing God had asked him to do? If he took the life of his beloved son, how could GOD fulfill His promise to provide Abraham with descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven? Oh the thoughts that must have been racing through Abraham's mind; oh the intense pain and heartache he must have felt. 6. But just as he had obeyed GOD when he commanded him to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldees over 25 years earlier, Abraham promptly obeyed God's command.

6 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. 7. There is a valuable lesson for all of us here and that is our obedience to God's commands should be prompt, without delay. That is how we demonstrate our faith in GOD. That is how we demonstrate our trust in GOD. It is NOT our place to question GOD...or to argue with GOD...or to balk at His commands. Our duty is to obey and to obey promptly. 8. And notice Abraham was very careful to obey every single detail: He had to saddle his donkey...he had to call two of his servants as well as his beloved son Isaac...and he had to split the wood that would be used in the burnt offering. And then for three days they journeyed to the place where GOD told him to offer his son as a sacrifice. For three days he had to ponder what GOD had commanded him to do. For three days he carried this unbearable burden in his heart.

7 9. When they were close enough to see the peaks of Mount Moriah off in the distance, Abraham told his two servants, Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and WE will come back to you. 10. Did you ever wonder why Abraham told the servants to stay back? Perhaps it was because he didn't want them to see the unspeakable thing he was going to do to his son, and he knew they would try to stop him. Or maybe it was something else; something far greater. Maybe Abraham knew in his heart that if his two servants went with them to the spot of the sacrifice that it would be very easy to surrender the duty of sacrificing Isaac over to one of them because it was just too unbearably painful for him. Abraham asked them to stay back with the donkey because he knew this was something that he and he alone had to do. 11. And let's not overlook the importance of what Abraham said to his servants as he and Isaac prepared to leave them. He said, Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and WE will come back to you.

8 12. Was Abraham planning to just stage Isaac's death but not really follow through with it? Absolutely NOT! He truly believed that he and Isaac would both return. He had faith that even if GOD allowed him to follow through with the sacrifice that GOD could not lie, His word would not fail, and He would resurrect Isaac back to life in order to fulfill His promise. And Hebrews 11:19 (New Living Translation) says... Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. Well so far in this GREAT 22ND CHAPTER OF GENESIS has told us of A GREAT SAINT and A GREAT SACRIFICE. Thirdly, in this great chapter... III. We Are Told of A GREAT SON (vs. 6-10) 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.

9 1. The role of Isaac in this incredible true life drama is perhaps the most over-looked part of the passage. 2. There are a couple of key points I would like to make about this GREAT SON OF ABRAHAM. 3. First of all, I want you to notice in verse 6 it says, So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son... Do you get what is going on here? Isaac is literally carrying the wood upon which he will die upon His own back. He is carrying the burden of death upon his own shoulders. Does this not bring to mind the picture of Jesus carrying the wooden cross upon which He would die upon His own back? Does this not paint a portrait of Jesus Himself carrying the burden of death upon His own shoulders? Isaiah 53:6b (NKJV) And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 4. The second thing I want you to note is the phrase, the two of them went together. It is first mentioned in verse 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.

10 And then skip down to verse And Abraham said, My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering. So the two of them went together. 5. Now what does that tell us? It tells us Abraham and Isaac weren't just together physically; they were one in spirit. Even though Isaac may not have fully understood all that was about to happen, he still follows his Father. He willingly surrendered to the will of his father and ultimately to the will of his heavenly Father. 6. Keep in mind Abraham was at least 115 years old by this time. Isaac could easily have run away from him. He could easily have over-powered his father when he began to tie him up and lay him down on the altar. But he didn't! He willfully and obediently laid his life down on the altar of sacrifice. 7. And in that 10 th verse we are given that dramatic image of Abraham, the loving father holding the knife above his head ready to take the life of his only son who has willfully and obediently offered himself as the sacrificial lamb. And finally in this GREAT CHAPTER...

11 IV. We Are Told of A GREAT SUBSTITUTE (vs ) 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;[a] as it is said to this day, In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided. 1. Just as Abraham is ready to take the life of his son, GOD STOPPED HIM! Because Abraham fully intended to take the life of his son, the sacrifice was now complete. In the eyes of GOD, it was as good as done, though there wasn't a single scratch or one drop of blood on Isaac's body. The test was over and Abraham had passed it with flying colors. 2. But that's not the end of the story. Verse 13 tells us 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.

12 3. Do you think it was just a coincidence that there just happened to be a ram caught in the thicket? No it was no coincidence or accident, it was an act of GOD. GOD PROVIDED A SUBSTITUTE! God sent the ram to take the place of Isaac. 4. What a portrait of GOD'S GRACE! God fully intended for Abraham to carry out this sacrifice. And Abraham fully intended to take the life of his beloved son. But by an act of His divine grace GOD spared the life of Isaac and provided a substitute to take his place. Abraham so loved the LORD that he gave his only begotten son; and GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son. But by His grace God spared the life of Abraham's son; and by His grace GOD DID NOT SPARE THE LIFE OF HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL. (Romans 8:32)

13 C O N C L U S I O N This wonderful 22 nd Chapter of Genesis teaches us many valuable lessons about FAITH...and TRUST...and OBEDIENCE. But perhaps most of all it teaches us the importance of TOTAL SURRENDER. If God were to command you to sacrifice the one thing you love more than anything else in the world what would it be? Your spouse? One of your children? One of your grandchildren? Your money? Or a particular material possession? We must be willing to give GOD what is the most precious to us. He wants more than our spare time and the left-overs of our life. He wants to be the LORD OF ALL in our life and only when we learn to totally surrender our all the LORD are we set free. All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. That great hymn was certainly true of Abraham. I'm wondering tonight, is it also true of you and me?

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