Summary: How to trust God even when the reasons for compliance to His will is not clear
God’s Gift to Abraham and Abraham’s Obedience to God – Gen. 21:1-7; Gen. 22:1-19
Illustration:Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.
Thomas a Kampis.
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how Abraham trusted and obeyed God even when he did not understand all of the reasons for compliance.
2. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS BEST. There are times when God’s commands may not make human sense to our way of thinking, but we should trust and obey His will in all situations.
After the Lord had miraculously given Abraham a son named Isaac, the Lord tested Abraham and said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (Gen. 22:1,2)
Because Abraham had committed himself by covenant to obey the Lord and had consecrated Isaac to the God by circumcision, he did as he was instructed. When we trust and obey the Lord we can be sure God will bless us. Moses wrote, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our people forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29) There are many hidden reasons why God directs us as He does. We do not need to know all of those reasons before we obey and trust His will. Abraham’s faith and obedience stands as a legacy for everyone as a formula for how to be blessed by God.
3. LEARN FROM LIFE’S TESTS. Throughout life God puts people to test to help them grow in faith and obedience to His will. The Lord put Abraham to test in order to determine how mature was his faith and obedience. In order for God to use us He first requires that we completely yield our mind, emotions and will to Him. For this reason God said, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Once the Lord knew that Abraham would obey Him in the most extreme ways, He knew that the man of God could use him as a model for many others to follow in the faith. God only multiplies those people who are faithful in little things before He uses them to accomplish great things for His kingdom’s purposes. Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice is a foreshadowing of how God offered Christ as a supreme sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. No wonder Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for His friends.” (John 15:13)
4. MEDITATE ON GOD’S GREATER PURPOSES. Thank God that He knows the best reasons why it is better to obey than to sacrifice.
Do you know God asked Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice?
The BIBLE STORY teaches us how Abraham displayed great faith and obedience to the Lord during one of the most difficult test of his life.
5. What are some of most precious things in the world to you? Is it your Mother or your Father or your sister or your brother? How would you feel if God asked you to sacrifice your Mother or Father or children in order to obey God’s will? How do you think Abraham felt when God asked him to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice on the altar of God? Why does the Lord allow us to have our faith and obedience tested?
6. ENDURE UNCERTAINTIES. At this point Abraham had endured many trials, difficulties and uncertainties. Yet, the Lord told Abraham to take your only son Isaac and offering him as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. The Lord tested Abraham so that He could help him mature in faith, obedience and in the knowledge of His reliability.
7. THANK GOD FOR HIS WORKING PERSEVERANCE IN YOUR LIFE. God allows us to pass through trials so that we can become more like Christ Jesus, not to punish us. Similarly, the Lord tested Job so that he might correct some of his mistaken beliefs. At the end of Job’s life he admitted that he had grown in his appreciation of God’s total sovereign control. Job said in summary to all that had happened to him, “Lord, now I know you can do all things and no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:1,2) When we are able to complete trust and obey God in all things is the time when He can really multiply and use us for His kingdom’s purposes.
8. RESIST TEMPTATION TO GET DISCOURAGED.
Abraham resisted the temptation to try to be clever and offer an animal sacrifice to try and trick God. Instead, Abraham took wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac. He carried the fire and the knife with him with full intention of doing what God had commanded. Even when Isaac questioned his father by saying, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt sacrifice?” At this point Abraham must have felt like breaking down in tears, but he courageously answered his son by saying, “God himself will provide.” When we come to a point in our life when we there is a shortage of what we need, let us too be able to say, “The Lord will provide all that we need according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)