Verse 1 – And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham:and Abraham said, Behold, here I am.
“Tempt” to test, try, prove
1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The Lord calls Abraham and he responds, “Behold, Here I am.” Lord, I’m ready. Lord, I’m willing. How do you response when the Lord lays on your heart something for you to do? When He calls you for a service/ministry, do you say “here I am” or do you try to hide or say “I can’t?”
I heard a preacher talking about lazy Christians. He said we can do anything we want to do. But if it isn’t convenient, if it isn’t on our way, if it takes some time or some effort, we use the “I can’t.” “I don’t have the ability.” “I am not talented, gifted in that way” excuses.
Verse 2 – And God said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you.
Abraham was to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. The ceremony od th evurnt offering is described in Leviticus 1.
The name of the mountain was Mount Moriah.
Verse 3 – And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and chopped the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.
Abraham rose up early to carry out what the Lord had told him. He didn’t put if off. He didn’t pray about it for a year or two. He obeyed immediately.
Maybe you are willing to do what the Lord has asked you, but you say “not now, I need to prepare. I don’t feel like I’m ready.”
Verse 4 – Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
3 days’ journey It wasn’t convenient and it wasn’t on his way somewhere else.
Verse 5 – And Abraham said to his young men, Abide ye here with the donkey; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
The lad and I will go worship and come again to you. I have heard sermons saying this statement shows Abraham’s faith. He tells the two young men that he and Isaac will go and they will come again. Both of them would come again. He believed even if he sacrificed Isaac, The Lord would bring Isaac back to life. The Lord had promised Abraham that through Isaac, there would be a great nation. Abraham believed the Lord’s promise.
Verse 6 – And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
Abraham took the wood and laid it upon Isaac’s back. Isaac wasn’t just a small child. He may have been as old as thirty, but for sure, he was at least in his late teens. He was at least strong enough to carry the load of wood to “the place afar off.” (verse 4)
Verses 7-8 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:and he said, Here am I, my son. And Isaac said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
“Here am I.”
Where is the lamb?
“God will provide a lamb.”
They had offered sacrifices before. Isaac knew the routine. He realized the sacrifice (the lamb) was missing.
Verse 9 – And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
…they came to the place which God had told him of…
What if Abraham had not gone to the place where God would have him be? You know the story, so it won’t ruin the ending when I tell you that God provided a ram. If Abraham had not gone to the place where God had told him to go, the ram would have been provided but Abraham wouldn’t have found it because he would not have been where the ram was.
Are you in the place where God wants you to be in your life? What blessings might you be missing by not being in God’s will. What situations could be resolved by God’s provision if only you were in the right place – the place God wants you to be.
Bound Isaac and laid him upon the altar. Abraham was an elderly man but by no means feeble. He sees the place afar off and said the lad and I will go yonder. Isaac was obviously a strong lad. He could have overpowered his father and gotten away. But he was willing. He was obedient (even unto death).
Verses 10-11 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham:and he said, Here am I.
Abraham stretch forth his hand and took the knife and the angel called to him.
We all have seen the beautiful picture of Abraham with the knife raised to kill Isaac. It is a beautiful image and it is filled with suspense and emotion. But that is someone’s artistic interpretation. The Bible doesn’t say that Abraham had the knife raised. It says that Abraham reached out and took the knife and the angel called to him.
For the third time Abraham says “Here am I.” Here am I, I’m willing to go. Here am I, I’m willing to answer questions. Here am I, I’m willing to listen.
Verses 12 – And he said, Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do any thing to him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me.
Now I know.
But didn’t God already know? Yes, God knows everything. He knows the beginning and the end. He knows our actions, our emotions and the intents of our heart.
But now Abraham knew.
Now Isaac knew. We said at one point maybe Sarah needed a faith booster to see her through. The Bible says it was her faith that gave her the strength to conceive. Did Isaac need this example of his father’s faithfulness, this testing of his own obedience, this faith-booster to see him through the things that he would face in his lifetime?
To experience Abraham’s faith firsthand. You know that Isaac knew how very much his father loved him. He knew God must be really important. Later, Abraham and Isaac may have talked. Maybe Isaac asked, “Father, would you do anything the Lord told you?” Abraham would say yes anything and testify to the faithfulness of God.
Maybe Abraham told Isaac how proud he was of him for being obedient even when he didn’t fully understand.
Verse 13 – And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns:and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
A ram caught by his horns – If the ram had been caught by any other part of its body, it would have injured itself by struggling and trying to get free. If it had been injured, it wouldn’t have been an acceptable offering to God. God would only accept a healthy, strong animal as a sacrifice. God provided an acceptable sacrifice in place of Isaac.
Verse 14 – And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
Jehovah-jireh – The Lord will see, or provide. This is the name of God that the Jews use when they are talking about God, The Provider.
Verses 15-18 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, said the Lord, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.
The angel speaks a second time and reaffirms God’s promises to Abraham. Notice verse 18 “in your seed all nations shall be blessed.” Jesus is the seed of Abraham. Through Jesus all nations are blessed
Verse 19 – So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
Abraham returned and went to Beer-sheba and dwelt there.
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC
Read the Scripture focus and ponder the sequence of events.
Consider Abraham’s readiness to do the Lord’s will. Question whether you are obedient when the Lord calls you to do a task.
In some ways Isaac is a picture of Christ. As you read, think about what Isaac has in common with Christ.
— 3 days travel – For 3 days, Abraham knew Isaac would die – (3 days in the grave. Jesus was dead for 3 days.)
— Only begotten son with Sarah – Take thy son, thine only son. Abraham had already sent Hagar and Ishmael away. (Jesus is the only begotten of the Father. John 3:16)
— Isaac carried the wood – (Jesus carried the cross)
— Isaac was willing – (Isaiah 53:7 says of Jesus, “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”)
–Isaac was obedient unto death – (Philippians 2:8 says of Jesus, “he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”)
— Submitted to the will of the father. Not my will but thy will
–The same place – (Mt. Moriah was the Hill of Golgotha and the temple site) – Dr. Durham
Isaac and Abraham may have walked the very steps that Jesus would later walk.
In another way Isaac represents us as sinners. What does Isaac have in common with every sinner?
Helpless – (once tied)
Bound – (by sin)
God provided an acceptable substitute – (the ram/the Christ)
God provided an acceptable substitute for us, a Lamb without blemish and without spot: Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
We were bound by sin and facing certain death, eternal separation from the presence of God. We were not able to free ourselves, then God stepped in.
God provided a suitable sacrifice to take our place.
That sacrifice was Jesus.
Jesus took our place on the cross,
And we are free from certain death.
Free to live forever in the presence of our Lord.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
We have all sinned. We have all done wrong.
Even when try to be as good as we can be, our righteousnesses are as filthy rags before a holy God.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
For the wages of sin is death;
Wages are something you have earned. Because of our sin, we have earned death. We deserve death.
But the verse continues:
but the gift of God is eternal life
God has a gift for us. Eternal life. We deserved death, but he was wants us to have life forever with Him.
Still the verse continues: How do we receive this gift?
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
How is it possible that we can have life when we deserve death? Just like in the story of Isaac, God provided a suitable substitute to take our place –one without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Acts 16:30-31 The jailer asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” And they answered “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
Believe today. The sacrifice has been provided. The gift has been offered.
1 Corinthians 15: 3-4
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Christ’s death on the cross is the payment for our sins.
His resurrection is the promise of eternal life. He defeated death so that we can have life.
Jesus said I am the way.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
He said I am the door.
John 10:9 (KJV) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
God’s word is full of the message of One way, one door.
Jesus said No one comes to the Father but by me.
You must go through Jesus, through the door, to enter heaven.