Summary: God asked Abraham to lay down his Isaac. His story is an incredible picture of the Cross and how God loved us enough to surrender His Son, Jesus, for our sin. Do we love Him enough to surrender our Isaac today?
It has been said that Christians are like tea bags……they always do best when they get in hot water. In Genesis chapter 22, we find Abraham in the hottest water of his life as God tries his faith.
The Bible teaches three key truths about trials in the life of a believer:
1) Trials come to believers because true faith must be tested (I Peter 4:12).
3) Trials come to make us more PATIENT (Romans 5:4).
Abraham found himself in hot water when God asked for the unthinkable: “Go, sacrifice your son, Isaac.” Are you serious, God? Don’t you remember your “unconditional” promises in Genesis 12?
I will bless you.
I will make you the father of a great nation.
I will multiply your seed.
I will bless those who bless you.
I will curse those curse you.
In essence, God promised to send His SON through Abraham's SEED to be the SAVIOR of the world. If Abraham's son dies without bearing a son......the promises are history. Pretty serious stuff.
What happened to all of those “unconditional promises?” Why would God dare to ask such a faithful man to give up his only son who was the only hope for a coming Messiah??
Notice in Genesis 22 three things that happened to Abraham that will happen to every child of God.
I.GOD CALLS EACH BELIEVER TO PROVE HIS FAITH (22: 1-2).
“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you” (Genesis 22:1-2).
Ramajit Raghav hit the headlines in 2010 when he claimed to be the oldest man in the world to father a child at the age of 94. Incredibly, he then went on to father a second child in 2011 at the age of 95. His wife, Shakuntala Devi, is believed to be in her early 50s. Talk about your May to December romances!
Abraham would have made CNN News Headlines himself in his day for fathering a child at 100! Abraham was no spring chicken when God surprised him with the shocking news that his elderly wife was pregnant……when they should have been thinking about retirement or choosing a nursing home!
God named Abraham’s son, Isaac, meaning “laughter”, because Abraham and Sarah laughed out loud when God told them about His miracle (Gen. 18). If I was Abraham and had a cell phone in those days, I am pretty sure I would have texted a message to Sarah with a big……LOL and ROFL!! But they fell in love with their boy and remember how they doubted God every time they called his name.
“Hey, Laughter, come to supper! Hey, Laughter, wash your hands and get ready to eat!"
"Hey, Laughter, bow your head as we thank God for this meal!”
But laughter soon turned to tears when God asked the most difficult thing ever ---“Take your son, your only son, whom you love and go to Moriah. Sacrifice him there.”
Time stood still.
This does not sound like God.
He doesn’t sacrifice children. He forbid this very immoral act by mankind in Deuteronomy 12:31-32.
You’re kidding, right?
The spiritual experience of Abraham was marked by four great crises, each of which involved a surrender of something dear. These were:
(1) LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND FAMILY (Gen 12:1 Mt 10:34-39 2Cor 6:14-18) - Is God asking you to go somewhere away from home, family and friends. Is he calling you to another job or ministry?
(2) SEPARATE - from your worldly, compromising nephew, Lot; especially dear to Abraham by nature, as a possible heir (2Pet. 2:7,8 Gen 13:1-18). Is God asking you to break off a close relationship with someone who is hurting you spiritually?
(3) GIVE UP - His own plan about Ishmael (Gen 17:17-18). Is God asking you to give your plans on something you have dreamed of for a long time?
(4) SACRIFICE - Isaac, "thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest" (Gen 22:1-19 Heb 11:17,18). Is God asking you to let go of your children and trust Him?
The place of testing was also significant. Abraham was called to sacrifice his son at Mt. Moriah. The Mount of Olives is located on Moriah and it is probable that here both Isaac and Jesus were offered.
Not only do we have to prove our faith, but we also have to purpose something:
II. WE MUST PURPOSE IN OUR HEARTS TO TRUST GOD EVEN WHEN WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.