Summary: WHen your in the thick of a problem, stop and listen, God’s provision is nearby.
Background of story
• God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation
• God gave Abraham and Sarah a son, Isaac, in their old age
• In the context of our scripture reading this morning:
o God told Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice to God
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
o Abraham fully obeyed … because he knew some things about the God he serviced
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
He was faithful with His promises
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.
If Isaac was to be offered, God would raise him again
5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."
God is a God of provision
8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering."
Abraham was no stranger to, not only hearing the voice of God, but to stepping out on that word with total abandon. But no doubt this was, by far, the biggest thing God had ever laid on him.
Just how far would you go for God? Before you answer that question consider this…
The measure of your answer had a direct correlation with the level of your relationship with Him.
Luke 7:36-39 Woman with Alabaster box of oil
We are not privy to Abraham’s life before God called him out of Ur, but one thing we can be sure of – that encounter with God had totally changed his life.
Have you had that kind of encounter with Him? - The kind that completely turned your life direction around?
Abraham was willing to go to any length to obey the voice of God. That kind of obedience wasn’t exclusive to just this guy.
• Noah was asked to build an ark
• Moses was asked to lead 2 million people to freedom
• Nehemiah was asked to rebuild Jerusalem with only a handful of refugees
• Peter and Andrew were asked to leave their fishing business
• You and I are asked to take up a cross – that is lay down our own desires and choices and pick up His.
If you know anything about the people I’ve just mentioned, you know that when they obeyed God, their outcome what far better than their beginning.
It’s always that way, when you give something up to God, He always gives you more.
So back on the mountain…
Abraham and Isaac start laying down the wood for the sacrifice.
Can you imagine the conversation they had?
• Abraham took time to teach his son about altar building
• He told Isaac that because God is such a good God we give him our very best in return.
• Then the question… “Dad, what is it we are going to give to God?”
• Without missing a beat, Abraham says “God will provide Himself a lamb?”
• Then Abraham told Isaac to turn around – and he bound his hands and feet and laid him on the wood of the altar.
• Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son… God stepped in.
One day in the foothills just outside of Jerusalem there was another altar of wood in the shape of a cross. This one had your name and mine on it – in fact it had the name of every man, woman, boy and girl who ever was or every would be born. And just at the time that sin was about to take the final blow,