Genesis 22 tells the story of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac. For clarity’s sake perhaps we should say almost sacrificing his son. Abraham was willing, able and just about to offer his son Isaac when he was stopped by the Angel of the Lord.
Abraham believed God and that belief was counted to him as righteousness in Genesis 15:6. Isaac had been born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, so Abraham had no reason to question God’s instructions. Hebrews 11 commends his faithfulness, so great that he believed God could restore Isaac to life. An interesting conversation took place as they hiked up the mountain together. Isaac noted they had wood and fire but asked about a lamb to sacrifice. Abraham said that “God will provide himself a lamb.” When Isaac was spared at the last moment, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns and sacrificed that as an offering of thanksgiving. He named the place Jehovah-jireh or the LORD will provide.
As we prepare to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ it’s hard to miss the parallels. We have in the Genesis account a father that is willing to sacrifice the son that he loves. They walked up the mountain together. And even though Isaac is ultimately spared we see the ram serve as substitute sacrifice. It was guilty of nothing but its blood was poured out. Now consider the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and recall the words of Abraham; God will provide himself with a sacrifice.
After 5 posts on Abraham I have decided it’s time to move on. There are a lot more stories there, but Bible Survey kind of turned into a lifetime in Genesis on me. Perhaps I should write a book on Abraham; can’t imagine that making the New York Times Bestseller List.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob looks at two aspects of that title. When the Bible uses that phrase (15 times in the ESV) it is for one of two reasons; to either remind the Hebrews who they are and whose they are, or to explain to others outside the Hebrew nation which God it is we are talking about. Head over to Bible Survey and check it out.
I still think starting Bible Survey was a great idea. I wish we were halfway through the New Testament right now instead of still in Genesis, but when were promised everything we want, right?
There is just so much to say about Abraham. His story runs from Genesis 12 to 25, and I’ve found it hard to summarize or skip anything. In Genesis 22, Abraham is willing to and almost does sacrifice Isaac. There are some good lessons in the story about God, and they are all about his love and mercy toward sinners, not about him being vicious, cruel or scary.
Read Abraham Sacrifices Isaac at Bible Survey.
There’s a lot of negative things to say about topical preaching, but I know two things: 1) Father’s Day will be one of the most searched terms today on the Internet, and 2) No matter what “topic” I begin with, before the sermon is over I will preach the Gospel.
“Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham.” So goes the old children’s song. While we recognize Abraham as the primogenitor of the Jewish nation, like any member our fallen race he was far from perfect. One danger of celebrating historic lives is that we elevate a person too high by never mentioning certain shortcomings or character flaws. Historians have to be careful in their presentation of certain figures, particularly the ones they like. Continue reading