THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM
God will provide for himself the lamb… When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. —Genesis 22:8-13
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. —Hebrews 11:17-19
Imagine… offering your son up as a sacrifice in obedience to God. But that is exactly what Abraham did. He knew that Isaac, his son, was the son of promise. He was the son in whom all the nations would be blessed. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23). He trusted God to work out the details He did not know. May we do the same.
What was Abraham thinking when God asked him to sacrifice his son? In the greater Genesis context above Abraham had told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Abraham knew they would both return because he “reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” He thought that if God was going to have him offer his son, then God would have to raise him from the dead to fulfill His promises to Abraham.
But… just as Abraham was going to kill his son the angel of the Lord said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Then “Abraham went and took the ram(that was caught in the thicket) and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.”
This is a picture of what God would do in the future with His own Son, Jesus. Jesus would be offered up and He would die for the sins of the world (I John 2:2). But then “regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:3-4). By faith Abraham believed God could raise his son and by faith we believe that God raised His Son, Jesus, from the dead. Our faith also leads to righteousness. The same righteousness Abraham had when he believed God (Romans 4:18-25).
Father, thank You for the example of Abraham’s faith. May I be of that same faith, believing and obeying what You say out of love for You. May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Sx_U0Ztr8