Genesis 22A (2011) The testing will expose Abraham s true heart

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1 Genesis 22A (2011) The Bible calls Abraham the father f faith Abraham is the man Paul uses as his example when he taught the way t salvatin was always by faith in Gd s prmises Abraham has seen Gd appear befre him seven times and make amazing prmises And Abraham has taken sme bld steps in fllwing Gd, but he s als made sme mistake In fact, his life has been a mixed bag f gd and bad And yet Gd wants Abraham t stand as the example t all wh fllw S nw that Abraham has sent Ishmael away, Gd decides it s time t bring Abraham s life t a test f faith The testing will expse Abraham s true heart Gen. 22:1 Nw it came abut after these things, that Gd tested Abraham, and said t him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. Gen. 22:2 He said, Take nw yur sn, yur nly sn, whm yu lve, Isaac, and g t the land f Mriah, and ffer him there as a burnt ffering n ne f the muntains f which I will tell yu. The events f chapter 22 are set after the events f chapter 21 In fact, this chapter is prbably 20 r mre years later and maybe as much as 30 years later In chapter 21 Isaac had just been weaned In this scene, we ll see him as a full-grwn adult capable f carrying a heavy lad f wd up a muntain side One thing is we knw fr sure...isaac can t be a teenager If he were a teenager, than killing him wuldn t have been a sacrifice At this later pint in Abraham s life, Gd appears an eighth time t Abraham t test him 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

2 Genesis 22A 2 A test frm Gd is always an pprtunity t demnstrate faith Tests are nt temptatins; they are nt designed t cause us t fail Tests are intended t let us succeed They are designed t shw us apprved They give us pprtunity t shw what we have learned If we fail a test, it s nt the the fault f the teacher As Gd appears t Abraham, He annunces the test Abraham must ffer his sn as a burnt ffering n a muntain Gd will shw him Has any man been given a mre difficult test f faith? As if t increase the degree f difficulty in this test, Gd annunces the test with special emphasis n Isaac s imprtance Gd describes Isaac as Abraham s nly sn, the ne Abraham lves Gd is demanding Abraham make a human sacrifice t please him The very ntin seems ut f keeping with Gd s character Remember that ther pagan religins in Abraham s day rutinely practiced human sacrifice in their rituals S Gd was asking nthing mre f Abraham than unbelievers were willing t d in keeping with their faiths Of curse, human sacrifice is wrng, and Gd has n intentin t actually bring Abraham t the pint f murdering Isaac Remember, Mses begins the chapter telling us this is a test What can we imagine went thrugh Abraham s mind in the mment he heard these wrds? 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

3 Genesis 22A 3 First, he must have felt shck and cnfusin ver why Gd wuld expect him t d such a thing Gd was right...abraham lved Isaac S killing him wuld be an unimaginable hrrr But Abraham lved Gd als He has trusted Gd s prmises fr smething like 60 years at this pint Gd has been faithful time and time again Abraham knws that Gd has prmised t bring an uncuntable number f descendants frm Isaac S Abraham determines t d tw things Obey Gd s instructins while trusting in Gd s prmises Gen. 22:3 S Abraham rse early in the mrning and saddled his dnkey, and tk tw f his yung men with him and Isaac his sn; and he split wd fr the burnt ffering, and arse and went t the place f which Gd had tld him. Everything abut Abraham s respnse demnstrates a heart f bedience He rises early in the mrning, he prepares his dnkey and chps the wd fr the sacrifice Then he leaves fr the place Gd has tld him Apparently, the Lrd has revealed the lcatin fr Abraham t travel And this place is sme distance away, three days travel in fact Abraham decides t bring tw yung servants with him fr this trip Three days is a lng time when yu re n a missin t kill yur sn Many things must have gne thrugh Abraham s mind n that trip What kind f cnversatin tk place between the father and the sn? 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

4 Genesis 22A 4 Abraham hasn t revealed the purpse f the trip t his adult sn, except that the Lrd has instructed them t make a sacrifice n a distant muntain I wnder if he ever had a mment f dubt r secnd thughts? Reading a stry like this we can t help but ask urselves if we wuld d smething like this? Perhaps the better questin is under what circumstances wuld we be willing t bey a cmmand like this? We knw that Isaac is the sn Gd has deemed t be the sn thrugh whm the wrld wuld see blessing We can t understand hw Gd culd keep that prmise while still asking us t kill the sn The nly way we culd g frward in bedience is t assume that death isn t the end f Gd s plan That Gd s prmises aren t stpped by physical death We wuld have t believe that we g n living even after this physical bdy dies - resurrectin int a new bdy will fllw This is exactly what Hebrews says Abraham did believe Heb. 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, ffered up Isaac, and he wh had received the prmises was ffering up his nly begtten sn; Heb. 11:18 it was he t whm it was said, IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED. Heb. 11:19 He cnsidered that Gd is able t raise peple even frm the dead, frm which he als received him back as a type. The writer f Hebrews reminds us Abraham had heard that Isaac was the ne wh wuld lead t many descendants Yet Gd directed Abraham t kill him S Abraham cnsidered r cncluded that Gd was able t raise peple frm the dead Abraham already knew that Gd had a plan that transcended his physical lifetime 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

5 Genesis 22A 5 That s why Abraham has been living in the desert as a wanderer rather than living in cities in cmfrt It was a lifestyle Gd directed because it reflected a willingness t wait n Gd t prvide the eternal inheritance S if Abraham was willing t wait fr the prmises f land t be fulfilled after death, then he reasned the prmise fr descendants wuld als be fulfilled after Isaac s death This is the heart f Abraham s test Where did Abraham place his trust? In Gd s wrd r in what he can see? Was there anything in his life s dear t him that he culdn t give it up t Gd? Hw irnic it wuld have been had Abraham denied Gd the sacrifice Gd required? After all, the child Isaac was given t Abraham in a miraculus way as a result f Abraham s trust in Gd s prmise S nw that Gd is asking Abraham t ffer that sn back t Gd, is Abraham ging t withhld the very ne that Gd gave Him in the first place? Gd has als given yu a miracle birth As we sat in ur sin and ignrance, the Lrd gave each f us a new birth in faith And with that new birth came prmises f great eternal blessing Nw the questin is whether we will give this life back t Gd as a sacrifice t Him Paul says this is exactly what Gd requires f each f us Rm. 12:1 Therefre I urge yu, brethren, by the mercies f Gd, t present yur bdies a living and hly sacrifice, acceptable t Gd, which is yur spiritual service f wrship. Rm. 12:2 And d nt be cnfrmed t this wrld, but be transfrmed by the renewing f yur mind, s that yu may prve what the will f Gd is, that which is gd and acceptable and perfect Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

6 Genesis 22A 6 Gd asks each f us t turn ur life back ver t Him And the specific sacrifice He requires is that we d nt cnfrm ur lives t this wrld Rather, we transfrm int peple that prve r demnstrate the perfect and acceptable will f Gd We becme walking billbards fr what we learn in Gd s wrd as we renew ur minds in accrdance with His truth And then we live it ut, demnstrating that truth utwardly It will be a sacrifice t live this way, because it will run cunter t the wrld in s many ways We will live in ppsitin t the wrld but in accrdance t Gd s will And as we mature in ur walk with the Lrd, He will cntinue t turn the dial up n ur spiritual sacrifice Our life in Christ a never-ending push tward hliness, and the Lrd will frever demand we live what we learn He wants ur billbard t grw brighter and brighter Abraham has been given his pprtunity t shine by beying a difficult cmmand Will Abraham withhld Isaac? If Abraham trusts Gd s wrd cncerning Isaac, then he will bey Gd s instructins And Abraham by his bedience, Abraham will display Gd s perfect plan What is the plan r stry Gd wants t tell thrugh Abraham s bedience? It s a stry cnnected t Gd s prmises t Abraham cncerning the blessing That thrugh Abraham s seed wuld cme a blessing fr the wrld 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

7 Genesis 22A 7 Hebrews 11:9 alluded t this stry when it described Isaac as a type Because f Abraham s bedience in this test, Isaac becmes a type r a picture f smething greater Specifically, Isaac becmes a picture f Christ And if Isaac is a picture f Christ, then we can say that Abraham is a picture f the father in a way Fr he is the ne ffering t sacrifice his sn, his nly sn, just as the Father was willing t sacrifice His nly Sn T see that picture mre clearly, let s mve frward in the stry Gen. 22:4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place frm a distance. Gen. 22:5 Abraham said t his yung men, Stay here with the dnkey, and I and the lad will g ver there; and we will wrship and return t yu. Gen. 22:6 Abraham tk the wd f the burnt ffering and laid it n Isaac his sn, and he tk in his hand the fire and the knife. S the tw f them walked n tgether. Gen. 22:7 Isaac spke t Abraham his father and said, My father! And he said, Here I am, my sn. And he said, Behld, the fire and the wd, but where is the lamb fr the burnt ffering? Gen. 22:8 Abraham said, Gd will prvide fr Himself the lamb fr the burnt ffering, my sn. S the tw f them walked n tgether. Gen. 22:9 Then they came t the place f which Gd had tld him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wd, and bund his sn Isaac and laid him n the altar, n tp f the wd. Gen. 22:10 Abraham stretched ut his hand and tk the knife t slay his sn. After three days f walking, they see the muntain in the distance The yung men are tld t stay with the dnkey and the father and sn walk the rest f the way alne This explains the need fr the men t accmpany Abraham and Isaac They stay behind t watch the dnkey Abraham says he and his sn will g t the muntain t wrship This entire episde is wrship fr Abraham 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

8 Genesis 22A 8 This is the same way Paul described ur live f sacrifice Our spiritual service f wrship Hw d we wrship Gd? By beying Him By making sacrifices in ur lives t demnstrate ur trust in Him and His wrd By cnfrming urselves t His wrd and nt t the wrld That s wrship Abraham is ging t wrship Gd by beying Him It s als imprtant t nte that Abraham says he and Isaac will return It s a simple statement, but it says a lt It says that Abraham didn t expect t be withut a sn It says he knew Gd wuld yet still fulfill His prmises t bring a natin by Isaac It says Abraham trusted in Gd s wrd and Gd s faithfulness and Gd s gdness MORE than he trusted in his wn understanding Abraham s bedience isn t remarkable because Abraham was willing t lse Isaac Abraham s bedience is remarkable because he was s cnfident death wuldn t be enugh t take Isaac frm him And then the tw depart, with Isaac carrying the wrd fr his wn sacrifice Isaac is picturing Christ again here He traveled t the sacrifice n a dnkey And like Christ Isaac is carrying the wd n which he will be sacrificed And as they walk with wd, knife and fire, Isaac calls t his father with the bvius questin Where is the lamb fr the sacrifice? 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

9 Genesis 22A 9 Interestingly, Isaac using the term Abba fr father The same way Jesus refers t His Father in Heaven Isaac is a full grwn man, a man capable f disagreeing with his father, f running away r verpwering Abraham It s beginning t dawn n Isaac that smethings nt right Yet he s still fllwing his father bediently Abraham answers that the Lrd will prvide fr himself a lamb But the sentence cnstructin in Hebrew can be translated anther way The same Hebrew wrds can mean the Lrd will prvide Himself as a sacrifice Prbably withut knwing it, Abraham was preaching the Gspel And the answer satisfied Isaac, but sn enugh they reached the tp f the muntain This regin f this muntain is Mriah, the muntainus area upn which David built his altar and later Slmn later builds the Temple This becmes hme t the Temple munt And n these same hills, Jesus is sacrificed n a crss Yet anther way in which this stry pictures Christ s sacrifice As they reach the place, Abraham built an altar frm uncut stnes, as was Gd s directin And then he arranged the wd n the altar t burn the bdy And then he bund his sn Up t this pint, Isaac has been abslutely bedient t the father And at this pint, the truth f what will happen is clear t everyne Since we knw Isaac culd escape, the fact that he remains is prf f his faith as well 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

10 Genesis 22A 10 He is remaining fully bedient t a father wh has made clear his intentins t kill his sn Abraham binds his sn, we re tld but even this detail adds t Isaac s bedience Isaac bviusly submitted t the binding Abraham prbably bund him t ensure he wuld try t stp him at the last minute r struggle in death This is a perfect picture f Christ as well Christ went willingly t the crss; n ne frced Him t g He was beying the Father s directin despite the pain and suffering He knew He wuld experience Yet Christ was als bund by nails t the wd f the crss S that even the binding f Isaac was a parallel t Christ Finally, in v.10 we reach the climactic mment Abraham stretched ut his hand with the knife He s ready t draw the knife acrss his sn s neck as he might a lamb s In this mment Abraham s faith has been fully demnstrated N ne witnessing this mment culd dubt Abraham s trust in Gd His behavir makes clear his faith Mre than that, Abraham s bedience has perfected r cmpleted his faith His faith has prduced the wrk Gd intended, it has served its purpse fr Gd s glry James makes this pint in using Abraham as an example James 2:20 But are yu willing t recgnize, yu flish fellw, that faith withut wrks is useless? James 2:21 Was nt Abraham ur father justified by wrks when he ffered up Isaac his sn n the altar? 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

11 Genesis 22A 11 James 2:22 Yu see that faith was wrking with his wrks, and as a result f the wrks, faith was perfected; James 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and he was called the friend f Gd. James 2:24 Yu see that a man is justified by wrks and nt by faith alne. Abraham s faith was perfected r cmpleted Abraham was declared righteus in chapter 15 f Genesis But if we lk back at his life since that mment, it s been a series f ups and dwns N ne s perfect, f curse, but Abraham s life culd cause smene t questin exactly what he believed Abimelech is certainly wndering But nw there is n dubt One f the reasns the test in chapter 22 f Genesis exists is t demnstrate the strength f Abraham s faith in Gd s prmises Withut this chapter, Abraham s testimny wuld have been a lt murkier But nt s nw...james says he was perfected r cmpleted in this mment Gd has a purpse in saving each f us In ther wrds, his life s purpse in faith has been met He didn t chse us n the basis f ur merit r ur wrth His plan was in place befre the fundatin f the earth But we d matter t Him, f curse, S we shuld be always seeking t understand hw ur life f faith will be perfected in bedience t Gd s test Will it be a call t missin wrk? Will it be a call t leadership, r t devtin in prayer r giving t the needs f the saints? 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

12 Genesis 22A 12 Will it be a service f teaching r hspitality r music? Will it be in devtin t a spuse r t raising gdly children? Will it be sme cmbinatin f these r smething altgether unique? Our rle in all this is just like Abraham T hear the Lrd when He calls, t answer here I am And then t bey sacrificially T ld nthing back T determine t bey cmpletely while trusting in Gd 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.

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