Summary: The unique way that Abraham’s offering of his son on Mt. Moriah parallels our spiritual journey with God.
We’re continuing the series on Second Chances by evaluating another of the times the Bible uses the phrase "second time." Our focus today is on Abraham.
Abraham waited until he was 100 years old for Isaac to be born but he never gave up on God’s promise of a son. Remarkable. That’s why we still read about Abraham today. That’s why he is the father of a nation. He learned to trust God.
Then, in Genesis 22, when Isaac was probably a teenager, God told Abraham to go on top of Mt. Moriah and offer up Isaac, his promised son, as a sacrifice. Abraham didn’t flinch. He was willing to trust God with his son’s life and God provided an alternate sacrifice. After Abe passed the test the Amplified Bible says:
15The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven A SECOND TIME.
16And said, I" have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that since you have done this and have not withheld [from Me] or begrudged [giving Me] your son, your only son,
17In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies,
18And in your Seed [Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.
What prompted God to call to Abraham the second time?
It was because his life was focused on God.
Let’s take Abraham’s life and learn how to fine tune our focus on God.
1. FOCUS ON GOD’S PROMISES, NOT EXPLANATIONS.
God didn’t explain to Abraham how such a bizarre request could possibly lead to a rewarding conclusion. Abraham had learned he could trust God so he obeyed without explanation. That’s mature faith - when you have grown so close to God in your relationship with Him that you trust Him in spite of what you don’t yet understand.
Our sinful selves and the culture around us are programmed for explanations while a relationship with God is founded on focusing on God in faith. If you want to hear from God don’t press Him for explanations. Instead, look for His directives and then follow them. Find out what He asks you to do and then do it.
The first time God called Abraham it was to invite him to worship. And Abraham answered the call.
Gen. 22:5 (Amp) And Abraham said to his servants, "Settle down and stay here with the donkey, and I and the young man will go yonder and worship and come again to you."
By this statement you not only see Abraham’s willingness to worship but you see his faith that he will return with his son! Abraham knew that if God could give him a son long past human reproductive abilities then God could also raise his son from the dead once he had been sacrificed!
The second time God called to Abraham it was to invest in him the blessings of faith.
When you invest in God He invests in you! I like knowing that don’t you? What I don’t like is that I often have to wait for the investment God is making in me to reach maturity.
I remember the first time I put money in a savings account. I was a teenager and I knew very little about earning interest. I started putting my paychecks from McDonald’s in a savings account for college. When I got my bank statement after several months I expected to be a real financial mogul.
But was I in for a surprise to see the interest accrue very slowly. I got really discouraged about this investing stuff. I didn’t know you had to wait a long time to see real results - especially when you were working with the small amounts I was working with.
It is the waiting for the return on our investments in the things of God that is difficult. The question is, Will you trust God while you wait and without being told why you are waiting? Will you give in to God’s will even though you aren’t given consent forms and timetables? Will you follow God even when you are tired of waiting for tangible results?
It’s a tough call in our culture today.
I like what Eugene Peterson said over 25 years ago in his book, "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction."
"One aspect of the world that I have been able to identify as harmful to Christians is the assumption that anything worthwhile can be acquired at once. We assume that if something can be done at all, it can be done quickly and efficiently. Our attention spans have been conditioned by thirty-second commercials. Our sense of reality has been flattened by thirty-page abridgements."