Summary: The account of the binding of Isaac is not only a significant one to the Jewish people, it is essential to Christians. There are key applications regarding our faith in and trust of God.
1. Three Military recruiters were each given 10 minutes at a high school assembly to pitch their particular branch of the armed forces. The Navy recruiter spoke 12 minutes; the Army recruiter spoke 18 minutes, leaving the Marine with no time. The principal felt bad, so he allowed the marine 30 seconds. The Sergeant snapped to attention, briskly walked to the podium and said, “I doubt there are but two or three of you that could cut it in the Marine Corps. I will meet those two or three in the Mess Hall (i.e., cafeteria) after this assembly. Guess which recruiter had more business than he could handle? “USMC “Looking for a few Good Men”
God has always put a premium on quality. He looks for it in our lives and he develops it in us where it is lacking. This is evident in the life of Abraham. He had potential to quality in his life and God brought it out in him.
2. Genesis 22.1-19
3. When I think of Avraham and accounts like this, I have many questions – more than I have answers.
• Why did God choose Abram (Genesis 12)?
o He was imperfect – as the 12 disciples – as I am
o God knew things about Abram that we could not know; that Abram did not know
• How could Abraham have been willing to do this?
4. Consider a few things from this great event:
I. A Call – From God
A. A Call to a Test
1. [Emergency Broadcast Test – “This is only a test” – Abraham, as Job, did not know this
2. Nisa (associated with Banner) speaks of situation forced to make choice between God’s will and wisdom and the way our will/understanding would take us; it is not a temptation but an elevation
3. Maimonides – Abraham was Tested 10 times – first and last are similar
1. G d tells him to leave his homeland to be a stranger in the land of Canaan. (12.1)
2. Immediately after his arrival in the Promised Land, he encounters a famine. (12.10)
3. The Egyptians capture his beloved wife, Sarah, and bring her to Pharaoh. (12.15)
4. Abraham faces incredible odds in the battle of the four and five kings. (14.14)
5. He marries Hagar after not being able to have children with Sarah. (16.13)
6. G d tells him to circumcise himself at an advanced age. (17.24)
7. The king of Gerar captures Sarah, intending to take her for himself. (20.2)
8. G d tells him to send Hagar away after having a child with her. (21.12)
9. His son, Ishmael, becomes estranged. (21.12 – reflected in the command)
10. G d tells him to sacrifice his dear son Isaac upon an altar. (22.2)
Trust God in regard to past in the initial call; trust God in regard to posterity in the last
10 is the number of completion – Abraham’s commitment to God as unconditional is tested – he would worship/serve God since made a multi-millionaire; supernatural child; lands; cattle; conqueror – is his faith in God unconditional? Will he give up his most precious thing? Is he worthy of his election? By grace God already elected him – calling into opportunity his worthiness;
4. Will he trust God? Will I when I am tested? 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1.2-3
One man once wrote: All sorts of things are tested to prove that they are genuine.
• When you go to a bank and give a $20 bill to the cashier, she runs a special pen over a bill or hold it to a special light. Why would she do that? Because she is testing it to make sure it is genuine. You are glad she does because you don’t want a forged $20 given to you in change.
• When you go the pharmacy, and purchase prescription drugs you do so believing that drug has been tested. You trust that the manufacturer has done clinical trials and has proven it is safe.
• When you buy a car, you believe it’s safe because car companies are required to test them.
• An army going through basic training is not ready for battle. It’s not until soldiers have faced the enemy fire that they consider themselves proven, hardened, worthy.
• A ship can’t prove that it’s well built as long as it stays in dry dock. Its hull has to get wet; it must face the waves and storms of the sea to prove it’s genuinely seaworthy.
We expect EVERYTHING that has value to be tested. And the MORE important something is -- the more we rely upon its being safe/valuable - the more rigorous that test is going to be.