Genesis 22:3 – So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Imagine being Abraham. You’ve waited 25 years between the time God promised you a son, have done a lot of trying to mess things up in the meantime, and finally receive that long-awaited son. Just when it seems like everything is falling into place and Abraham can start to enjoy the life God has provided for him, God asks him to do the unthinkable: kill the son of the promise. That would’ve taken extraordinary faith, right? Why do you think Abraham agreed to this seemingly insane request?
According to Hebrews 11:17-19, Abraham’s faith was so great that, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received 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 raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
After having walked with God for many years and seeing God provide in very difficult situations, Abraham had apparently learned to trust God no matter what. And his faith in God was so resolute that he believed that even if he killed his son, God, who gave him the son through a miracle, could give him back through yet another miracle. After all, Abraham had also lost his wife on two occasions only to see God bring her back to him and Abraham believed that God would do the same with Isaac.
Perhaps God brought this test not to discover what was in Abraham’s heart, as God would have already known that. God may have waited for this test until his son Isaac was a young man so that Isaac could see that Abraham loved God more than even his own son whom he dearly loved and trusted God with that which was most dear to him. Also, Isaac could see this event, experience the depth of his father’s faith, and learn to love and trust God as his father did.
The chapter ends with the last words God speaks to Abraham. God promises to bless him, multiply his offspring, that his offspring would “possess the gate of his enemies”, and that future generations would be blessed and bless others. Because of God’s goodness and his faith, though it seemed to waver at times, through Abraham would ultimately come Jesus, the greatest blessing the world would ever know.
Carefully read aloud Genesis 22:16-18 as they are the last words God speaks to Abraham. Why are these words so critical for Abraham to hear and believe?
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