[Today: Genesis 22] Would You Sacrifice Your Son? In Genesis 22 Abraham is called to the mount of God and commanded to offer up his son, his only son Isaac as a consecration offering to the Father. What would be your response in such a situation? Would you go to the altar and raise your knife or would you refuse?
[Gen 22:1-24 KJV] 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. 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son]: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. 20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; 21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 And his concubine, whose name [was] Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.
In v. 1-3 the Father tempts Abraham to prove his faithfulness. Does God tempt man? In this context we must accept the fact that He does. The word “tempt” here is a metallurgical term used when ore containing precious metals is assayed to determine its value.
Jewish commentators believe that the place where Abraham offered Isaac is also the location where Moses received the commandments. Moriah means “seen by Jehovah” and is seen by mystics as the mountain God chose to prove or to SEE Abraham’s faithfulness. If you are in your “Moriah experience” you are in the place where your fidelity toward God is being made manifest. Sometimes God proves His faithfulness, sometimes God proves our faithfulness.
Christian writers believe that the spot where Jesus was crucified is where Abraham offered Isaac. They also believe that this is where David met the angel at the threshing floor and the site where the temple was later built by Solomon. Muslim scholars have endorsed the belief that it was the first-born son Ismail, not Isaac, who was asked to be sacrificed in the vision, and that the second son Isaac was born later as one of the rewards for Abraham’s fulfillment of his vision.
What is the significance of Abraham offering Isaac? John Wesley observed that it seems God will do nothing unless a man first ask Him. God’s sense of justice required that a man (Abraham in this case) first give HIM what He ultimately intended to give to us.
How old was Isaac when Abraham offered him up to God? Most scholars agree that Isaac was in his late teens when he accompanied his father to Mariah. Abraham was over 99 years of age so Isaac could have easily overpowered his father so this story is a testament to Isaac’s fidelity to God and his father Abraham as well.
In v. 4-8 Abraham and the lad (some say 18 years old) make the journey to Moriah. What was Abraham thinking when he took Isaac to Moriah? The New Testament gives us a clue. The writer of Hebrews made these observations under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
[Hbr 11:17-19 KJV] 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [son], 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
So Abraham didn’t think he would lose his son. He had every expectation that he would return to Mamre and restore Isaac to his mother Sarah. In Abraham’s mind he would take Isaac’s life and God would raise him up. At the same time he knew that a sacrifice was required hence he assures Isaac that a ram will be provided.
In this statement we have the introduction of the covenant name Jehovah-Jireh: “the Lord will provide.” When you understand this then fidelity to God and obedience to God is never about loss but about trust. Do you trust God to give back to you what He is asking you to relinquish?
In v. 9-13 Abraham binds Isaac to the altar and at the last moment an angel intervenes. Are you ready for angel activity in your life? Are you willing to step into situations such as this in order to experience the same? Here again we see angel intervention in Abraham’s life. Col. 1:26,27 tells us that Christ in you is the hope of Glory. The angels of God in the book of Revelation minister to the glory crying “Holy, Holy, Holy…” Angels get involved in your life because of the glory. In the book of Philippians Paul wrote:
[Phl 4:19 KJV] 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Angels are arbiters of answered prayer. The prayers that God answers do not descend from some lofty distant place from the glory that is on the inside of us. The answers are released through our prayers and as the petitions emerge from us the angels take up the assignment because their entire purpose is to minister to the glory that serves as the container of answered prayer that proceeds from within you. Jesus spoke of this in Luke 17:
[Luk 17:20-21 KJV] 20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Having experienced the faithfulness of God one again (v. 14-19), Abraham names the mountain after the experience. God will provide. Now again God reasserts the covenant. In the beginning God promises blessing to Abram even when He knows Abram will immediately disobey in the matter of Lot and later in the matter of Hagar and Ishmael. We must face the fact that God will love and provide and move in your life even when you deviate from the conditions He lays down in His directives and mandates for our destiny. This is God’s acceptance. God accepts us unconditionally but there does come a point that He asks us to align ourselves with Him in the matter not of unconditional acceptance but conditional approval based on OBEDIENCE.
God provides for you based on unconditional acceptance but you will never walk in the fulness of your destiny until you come into alignment with the mandates of God’s approval which is completely conditional and provisional.
Now (v. 20-24) Abraham’s attention is drawn to His bloodline because at this point Isaac’s destiny is assured and Abraham must begin to think of a bride for Isaac while Sarah still lives to participate in the decision. His brother has born children in Ur of the Chaldees and the next chapter of Abraham’s life focuses on securing a wife for his son.
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