Summary: This is a sermon that shows the great sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make as he offered up Isaac and the way that the Lord blessed him.
THE PLACE OF SACRIFICE
TEXT: Genesis 22 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: In this chapter, Abraham is going to be facing his greatest test. Upon the completion of this test, Abraham will have demonstrated his willingness to turn loose his most prized possession, his son, by offering him up as a human sacrifice. Abraham will illustrate, by his willingness to do this, that he would perform God’s will regardless of the cost to him.
I. ABRAHAM WAS SUMMONED TO THE PLACE OF SACRIFICE. (Vv. 1, 2)
This event was not on Abraham’s schedule. He did not say, “I plan to get up in a few hours and take my son to a mountain and offer him up for a burnt offering sacrifice”. It was during a time unexpected that the Lord said, “Take now thy son…” Through the many trials and tests that Abraham had encountered, God had prepared him for such a testing as this. Our good churches will have people who have been through their own tests and have seen the mighty hand of God working in their lives and are poised for going in the direction that the Lord sends them. From such a pool come our missionaries, pastors, and full-time Christian workers. There may be those of you here whom God is shaping so that you can submit to the summons when it comes.
A. God Had a Particular Purpose In Mind. (V. 1) “God did tempt Abraham”
The word “tempt” means that God was testing Abraham. This was God’s purpose. The way that the word tempt is used in our Text means to prove. This proof was not for letting God know if Abraham had gotten to the place that he would pass such a requiring test. It was, instead, for letting others know. God uses in verse 12 an expression which says: “now I know”. This is God’s way of saying, “I acknowledge in a practical sense your faithfulness”. Abraham proved his faithfulness and the Lord acknowledged it by providing a substitute. Likewise, the Lord acknowledges our faith in Him and He provides a substitute! Hallelujah…
B. God Had a Particular Place In Mind. (V. 2) “One of the mountains which I will tell thee of”
The place that the Lord had set apart was crucial. From the land of Beer-sheba to Moriah, a period of three days journey was necessary to satisfy His purposes of preparing Abraham for the intended place. This certainly seems like a long time to have been pent up in one’s bosom such a painful awareness of what this trip was all about. Even so, Abraham faithfully made his trek to the place intended by God.
God works in each our lives, as we are willing, to get us to the place that He would have us to serve. I have the grand privilege of serving here as the pastor of the Bible Baptist Church, and as I say this, I can recollect how God carefully worked in my heart to get me to the place that He intended. I did not have to come here to offer up a son, but I had to be willing to offer up a portion of my life, which is approaching already one half of my life time. Though, I did not know all that it meant when I moved to Statesboro to begin my Pastorate, and still do not know, I can certainly say that the place that God directs us to serve is certainly important and known initially only by Him.
II. ABRAHAM WAS SURRENDERED TO GO TO THE PLACE OF SACRIFICE. (Vv. 3 -7)
There is no neglect on the part of Abraham once God had told him to take his only son to the land of Moriah. He “rose up early in the morning” to begin his journey. This was because he had already surrendered his will to do the will of the Lord. Surrender is absolutely necessary to being fully in the will of God. Until one surrenders, he has not fully exercised the will of God, or put himself in position to do so. Obviously, God is not going to ask either of us to place our sons or daughters on a sacrificial altar, as he did Abraham, but are we willing to offer both ourselves and our children to the Lord. There is a desperate need in our churches to regain a sacrificial spirit in all that we do. We must be willing to lay our lives down on the altar. I sadly miss the days that it was common in our churches seeing a young couple selling their house and furniture and loading up their automobiles going wherever God would have them; it just didn’t matter, as long as they knew that God was sending them.