Summary: Abraham’s faith was tested just like our faith is tested. Was there anything that he loved more than God? Is there an Isaac in our life that we love more than God?
A Father/Son Story
Text: Genesis 22:1-18
A man was telling of an incident that happened with his oldest son. The boy was only 4 ½ years old at the time. The father said, “He was upstairs when I heard him fall, and he was screaming!”
The father said he ran upstairs in an instant, picked the boy up, and cuddled him against his shoulder. The little boy had hit a metal bedrail and cut his forehead. The child was bleeding and the blood got all over his shirt.
The child was rushed to the emergency room and the doctor proceeded to sew him up. The father sat all the time the doctor was working on his son and held his hand to comfort him. He said, “I will never forget those little eyes that were fixed on me. He trusted me to make sure he was all right. He trusted me to make sure everyone did the right things for him and to protect him—that’s what daddies do. It was the look in his eyes.”
This morning we’ll continue with our series from the Book of Genesis—the first book of the Bible—“The Book of Beginning”. Last week we learned, in the history of mankind, God turned His attentions to a man named Abraham.
We learned God made a covenant with Abraham that all mankind would be blessed through him. We also learned Abraham was a great man of faith; but he was not a perfect man of faith. Abraham had a few bad episodes during his life; but, he had faith in God. Though Abraham occasionally failed, he was not a TOTAL failure. God used him to bless us all through Christ and the Church.
Romans 4:3 and 6
---3---“For what does the Scripture say?”
---6---“And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
---6---“Even so, Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
---7---Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.”
---26---“For you are all sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus,
---27---For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
---28---There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus;
---29---And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
When we consider the father’s account of his trip to the emergency room and the look of total trust in his son’s eyes, it makes us wonder about the look in Isaac’s eyes as he looked up at his father, Abraham.
Did Isaac’s eyes look startled? Or pleading? Or were his eyes tearful on that incredible day Abraham led him to the top of Mount Moriah, built an altar, tied him up, placed him on the altar, and drew back his hand with the knife in it as he prepared to sacrifice his son to God?
If you think about it, there’s another pair of eyes we should also consider when we think about that day in the lives of Abraham and his son Isaac. Think about the look in Abraham’s eyes. What were his eyes saying as he looked toward heaven and raised the knife to strike his son with, what he had already accepted would be, a deathblow?
I wonder if Abraham—or God—might have felt the longing to trade places with their sons and spare them from this. This must have also been the longing of the father with his son at the emergency room. We always want to spare our children from pain—from hurt.
How did God feel, many generations later, when His Son faced the cross?
In Genesis, chapter 22, I think we find the high point in Abraham’s life of His faith. In this dramatic father/son story, we learn the meaning of one man’s trust in God. It also confronts us with a critical question. What do we value most in life?
The Abraham/Isaac Story.
---1---“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘ABRAHAM!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’
---2---And He said, ‘TAKE NOW YOUR SON, YOUR ONLY SON, WHOM YOU LOVE, ISAAC, AND GO TO THE LAND OF MORIAH; AND OFFER HIM THERE AS A BURNT OFFERING ON ONE OF THE MOUNTAINS OF WHICH I WILL TELL YOU.’
The text says this command was a “test” of Abraham. A “test”?? It was the ultimate examination of the depths of one man’s faith in God. It was the exploration of Abraham’s soul to see whether there was a single fiber of his being still reserved to himself rather than yielding completely to God. A “test”? It was Abraham’s final exam!