Genesis 22

What was Abraham thinking when God told him to sacrafice his son?  What was God thinking?  I have often said that he tested Abraham’s faith?  However, God knows everything.  If that is true, he knew that Abraham was going to pass this test.  However, this test has been cited through the ages as the test-case for faith.  I do not believe it revealed anything to God that he did not know.  This action revealed to all the generations that followed what obedient faith looks like.  It is the kind of faith that pursues God before it pursues family.  True faith sacrifices everything and loses nothing.  Have you given over all that you have?

Genesis 22

 1 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, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled 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.

 9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
      “Here I am,” he replied.

 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram <SUP class=footnote value='[a]’>[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

 15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring <SUP class=footnote value='[b]’>[b] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

 19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba. 

 20 Some time later Abraham was told, “Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.

Questions

  1. What exactly did God ask Abraham to do?
  2. At what time did Abraham get up to fulfil the task?
  3. What did Abraham do when he stretched out his hand?
  4. What did God know after the test?
  5. What could stop you from walking with God?  How could you sacrifice it?

Going Deeper

Observation

  • What kind of offering is Abraham to offer?
  • On what day does Abraham see the place of sacrifice?
  • What is Isaac’s question for his father?
  • What takes the place of Abraham’s son?
  • What does Abraham call the place?

Interpretation

  • What is a burnt offering as opposed to say a wave offering?
  • Is it significant that the journey takes three days?  Explain.
  • Does Abraham think that Isaac will be raised from the dead?
  • How is an animal a substitute for a person in the sacrifices of the Old Testament?
  • In what ways has God provided for Abraham?

Application

  • In what different ways do you offer things to God?
  • How far do you go out of your way to do what God asks of you?
  • Do you believe that yu are safe in God’s hands?
  • How has a substitute been sacrificed in your place?
  • How can you figuritively give your children over to God?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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