Summary: This sermon looks at Abraham’s revelation of God as the God of Resurrection in his willingness to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah and the results of that revelation.
PROVISION, POSSESSION, AND PROMISE
In this sermon we will see the ways of God in His involvement with mankind and the testing of our faith.
Abraham is called the Father of Faith - His promise involved a place, a promised son, and God’s provision.
In Chapter 22 of Genesis after a life that was tested and tried God brought Abraham to Mt Moriah to offer up his only son Isaac. Imagine the thoughts of Abraham after all He had been through yet God was not finished with him yet.
The Test of Abraham
Sometimes God’s testing are designed to remove self-confidence, so that our faith will be in Him and in Him alone; others, like this testing of Abraham, are designed to reveal the reality of faith. The tempting that come from Satan (and what comes from him are always tempting, not testing) are designed for our harm. The testing that comes from God is always for our good.
The test of Abraham involved His knowledge of God. Abraham knew God in many different ways but the ultimate knowledge of God is that He is a God of Resurrection.
Heb 11:17-19 “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”.
Abraham’s faith was in the God of resurrection! Nothing apparently could shake Abraham’s faith in God’s word, so believing that God would keep His word, this great man of faith reasoned logically that since Isaac had been pointed out as the channel of blessing, then God must raise him up again out of death. And there can be no question that that faith was founded on the circumstances attending Isaac’s birth. He had come from two people, who as far as begetting or bearing children, were “as good as dead” (Heb 11:11-12). Abraham reasoned rightly that the God, who had brought this son out of two dead bodies, could just as easily bring that same son out of death again.
If we can believe that on a personal level then there is nothing that we can’t believe God for. He wants us to know whatever our life is like, no matter what the circumstances are, that He can turn dead things into living. This then becomes our test!
Three is the number of resurrection. It was a three day journey.
The Response to the Testing
We can’t even begin to measure the faith of the man, who in the face of all this, “rose up early in the morning” to render a speedy obedience.
If we understand that the testing of God is for our benefit then we will respond in immediate obedience.
”... and saddled his donkey.” The wild donkey represents the body as the servant of the old nature, given without restraint to the indulgence of the flesh, while the saddled or bridled ass portrays the body with some measure of restraint imposed. Abraham’s saddling his donkey, therefore, is the symbolic declaration of the truth that he refused to listen to the voice of nature. Natural affection for Isaac must not be permitted to beget disobedience of God.
Abraham also took two of his young men with him. The young man represents spiritual strength or maturity (Pr 20:29), and two is the number of witness or testimony. These two young men therefore, are the symbolic witness to Abraham’s spiritual strength. He was a man who knew how to overcome his flesh and walk in the Spirit.
At Moriah Abraham’s leaving the young men and the donkey, God would teach us something about worship. He who would worship “in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:23-24), must separate himself from everything that would distract. The two young men, representing spiritual strength, were left behind. He who would worship must be occupied, not with his own spiritual state, but with Christ. The donkey, too, was left behind. Again, the worshipper must be occupied, not with what he is as a man still in the body here on earth, but with Christ. “I and the lad will go....” Only Abraham and Isaac went to the mountain to worship. True worship requires the dismissal of everything except the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Place of Testing
The place where Isaac was to be offered was in “the land of Moriah,” which means my teacher is God: seen of God. When Abraham came into the land, the second-mentioned stopping place was Moreh, a word very similar to Moriah, and meaning teacher. This greatest test of Abraham’s life was also for his learning. In all of this God would teach us that earth is His school where every circumstance is a lesson designed to equip us for the eternal state. If the events making up our lives were viewed in this light, we would be found more often acknowledging that “All things (do) work together for good to them that love God” (Ro 8:28).