All of us who know anything at all about the Bible are familiar with this story . . . how that . . . .
1. God spoke to Abraham to get out of his country into Canaan, and he did
2. God told Abraham that He would bless him by giving him a son and making his son into a nation
3. Sarah was barren, so Abraham tried to come up with his own solution to the problem by
a. suggesting to God that he make Eliazer his heir
b. taking Hagar, his wife's handmaid for a concubine
4. God rejected both of these alternate plans that had been concocted by Abraham and told him that through Sarah he would have a son, Isaac, and that in Isaac his seed would be called.
5. Finally, Sarah did conceive and bore a son and they did name him Isaac (meaning Laughter, because Sarah laughed at the seemingly absurd promise that she and Abraham would have a son at such an old age!).
6. Then all of a sudden, God tells Abraham to take Isaac up to the Mt. Moriah and to sacrifice him upon an altar as a burnt offering!
7. Can you imagine the consternation Abraham felt?
a. God had brought him from his home and his family to a land where he was a complete stranger and even an enemy to many of the inhabitants of that land.
b. God had refused his solutions to the problem of his not having an heir to inherit the land!
c. God had promised him that he would have a son, and that through this son, his seed should be called!
d. Now God is telling him to kill his heir for whom he had worked so hard. He had finagled and done every thing he could think of to make sure that he would have an heir. Now God wants him to destroy his heir, his only son!
8. Abraham ended up doing what God had said!
9. He decided that if God wanted him to offer up the thing that was dearest to him, he would do it! If God wanted him to offer up what he was depending upon for his future, he would do it!
10. He understood that if he did kill Isaac, that God would have to raise him up anyway, because had promised that this was the very one that would be Abraham's heir! See the witness of the New Testament:
Hebrews 11:17 "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure."
11. The reason he was able to do this is because he had already given himself completely to God, just as we need to do!
12. Romans 12:1-2 says . . . .
13. Luke 9:23-25 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?"
14. The point that I'd like to get across in today's message is
Every believer must present himself to God
I. By doing exactly what God says (v. 1-3)
1. It may seem ridiculous
2. It may seem senseless
3. Do it anyway
4. You have no idea why God wants you to do this thing that you find it so difficult to do! Notice in verse 1 that it says "that God did tempt Abraham." This word, tempt, has the implication that God wanted to try or test Abraham. He wanted to show Abraham just how much he really did believe God!
5. Sometimes we go through things in our life to prove to us just how great God is. He wants to put us in a position to rely totally on Him. He wants us to quit relying on self, so He tells us to do something that seems impossible. He is just testing our faith! And mind you, He's not doing it for His benefit, He's doing it for ours!
6. When God does tell us to do something we had better do it exactly as He says:
7. Without doubting (v. 2)
8. Without delay (v.3)
9. Allow me to illustrate:
When I felt the Lord nudging me to come to Bible college, I was working in a church in Gulfport Mississippi. I was already going to the Bible institute the pastor had started there, but when God impressed upon my heart to come to Trinity, I decided I had better do it; but I had to go home first and take care of some debt and save money toward my first payment for college. I was totally in God's will! When I got home, God provided me with a good paying job, and a ministry in my home church--helping out with the teens. After I had gotten to know the pastor and the youth pastor quite well, they both told me I didn't really need to go to Bible college. I had been brought up in the nurture and admonition of God's Word. They felt I knew about as much as any Bible School graduate. They did not know, however, that God had called me to go. It didn't seem to make sense to me then, but I came to Trinity and discovered that I didn't know nearly as much as I thought! God brought m!