Summary: What is your most precious thing in life?
A. INTRODUCTION: GENESIS 22:1-19
1. What is your most precious thing in life?
a. A person.
b. A talent.
c. A thing.
d. An action.
2. God wants us to yield everything to Him. “Give yourself to God; let your body be a living and holy sacrifice to God” (Rom. 12:1, ELT). “Give yourselves completely to God since He has given you a new life” (Rom. 6:13, ELT).
3. Put a priority on everything; keep everything in place, and make sure God is in first place.
B. ABRAHAM IS TESTED
“God tested Abraham’s obedience when He called. Abraham answered, ‘Here I am.’ God told him to take his son Isaac to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. Abraham left early with Isaac, wood, fire and servants. He traveled three days to get there, and told the servants to stay with the animals. He said, ‘I and the boy will go worship God and come back.’ Abraham carried the fire and the knives, Isaac carried the firewood. Isaac asked, ‘Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?’ Abraham answered, ‘God will provide Himself a lamb.’ They both went together” (Gen. 22:1-8).
1. God asked for Abraham’s prized possession. “Take now thy son, thy only son” (22:2). Ishmael was not considered.
2. The burnt offering was not a sin or trespass offering, but a burnt offering for worship.
3. Abraham obeyed and followed God. “Went to the place where God told him to go” (22:3, NLT).
4. Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead. “I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you” (22:5).
5. Abraham and Isaac climbing Moriah is a picture of the heavenly Father and Jesus climbing Calvary together.
6. When Isaac inquired about the lamb, the scriptures prophetically predicted. “God will provide Himself a lamb” (22:8).
C. GOD PROVIDES HIS LAMB
“Abraham built the altar, tied up Isaac and laid him on it. When Abraham took up a knife to kill his son, God shouted from heaven, ‘ABRAHAM, ABRAHAM.’ He answers, ‘Here I am.’ God told him to not harm Isaac. ‘Now I know you truly fear Me because you have not withheld your only beloved son from Me.’ Abraham saw a ram caught in the bushes, took and sacrificed it in place of Isaac. Abraham named the place Jehovah-Jirah, ‘The Lord will provide’” (Gen. 22:9-14, Amplified).
1. Isaac was strong enough to resist his father, but he submitted to death. “Bound his son Isaac” (22:9).
2. Isaac had faith and completed the symbolism. “Obedient unto death” (Phil. 2:5-8).
3. Abraham was a picture of God the Father. “Who spared not his only Son, but delivered Him up to death for us all” (Rom. 8:32).
4. Abraham believed God’s early promise. “For in Isaac shall thy seed be called” (21:12).
5. Abraham’s faith pictured both the death and resurrection of Christ. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Heb. 11:17-19).
6. God looked on the intent of Abraham’s heart, as though he already did it. “Abraham stretched forth his hand . . . to slay his son” (22:10).
7. The heavenly Father stopped Abraham, but He allowed the death penalty to be carried out on His Son. “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Is. 53:10).
8. When God called Abraham to go and when God called him to stop, Abraham yielded, “Here I am” (22:1, 11).
9. Abraham yielded his son to God. “I know that you fear God, seeing you did not withhold him from Me” (22:12).
10. The providence of God. “Abraham lifted up his eyes . . . a ram caught in the thicket” (22:13).
11. It takes faith to believe God will provide when we sacrifice our best.
D. PUTTING YOUR MOST PRIZED THING ON THE ALTAR
1. There usually is a struggle. “I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it . . . I know perfectly well what I am doing is wrong, and my evil conscience agrees . . . but I can’t help myself, it is sin inside of me that makes me do those things” (Rom. 7:15-17, NLT).
2. The issue is not the “prized thing” but my old selfish nature. “I want to do good, but I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway” (Rom. 7:19, NLT).
3. You must go deeper than your “prized thing.” “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give into its lustful desires” (Rom. 6:12).