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August 14, 2013 We’re studying through Genesis, and today we come to one of the greatest chapters of the Bible. Abraham has been walking with God for more than 25 years since He called him out of Ur into the Promised Land. After a long wait God finally gave him the son He’d been promised, and now it’s time to test Abraham’s faith: And it came to pass after these things, After Abraham cut a covenant with Abimelech over the well at Beersheba, that God did tempt Abraham, Now don’t get confused about this. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man” (Jas. 1:13). The key word here being “evil.” There’s a difference between Satan tempting men to commit evil and God tempting men (or testing them) to prove their faith. This tempting isn’t to get Abraham to do something he shouldn’t but something to prove his faith. So, in this sense, God tempted Abraham. and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, Now, remember that Abraham does have another son (Ishmael), but God rejected him in the inheritance. Isaac is the son of the promise, and God says, “In him shall thy seed be called” (Gen. 21:12). So, take your only son, whom thou lovest, It seems a strange thing to point out that the father loves the son, but it emphasizes the personal sacrifice about to be made. This isn’t some stranger; it’s not the family pet—this is Abraham’s only son whom he loves. and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Wow. A burnt offering. That means everything is totally given over to God. He’ll have to cut Isaac’s throat and then set him on fire. That’s a pretty tall order, but especially so for a man who waited 100 years to receive his son. Now, is God taking him back?
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave [split] the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. Now, this is the first statement of faith we hear from Abraham. Because of it I’m convinced that Abraham never had the reaction of fear most of us would have had. Think about it: Abraham lied to Pharaoh and Abimelech to save his own life even though God had promised to take care of him. It didn’t make sense that Abraham could die before his son was born, so he should have known he was invincible. In other words, all Abraham had to do was say, “God promised that I’d have a son and that I’d name him Isaac. Since I have no son to name, then I can’t die at least until he’s born and I name him.” Then there would have been no reason to fear. Now we see Abraham later in life and his faith seems to have matured enormously. God says, “Go sacrifice your son,” and Abraham reasons: “God said that my son will have a son, so there’s no way he can die or at least he can’t stay dead until he has a son.” Listen to what Hebrews says: By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure (Heb. 11:17-19). He probably didn’t know exactly what would happen, but he seems to have known what wouldn’t. Isaac can’t die, but even if he can, he cannot stay dead. 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. 7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Isaac knows they’re going off to make a sacrifice, but he realizes there’s no lamb. “We have everything we need, but we don’t have a sacrifice.” And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:
Here’s the second statement of faith. “If God wants a burnt offering He’s either going to have to resurrect my son so He can keep His promise to me or He’s going to have to stop me and provide a lamb. Whatever happens, I’m doing what God said because I know He keeps His promises.” so they went both of them together. 9And 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, Just for mental clarity, Isaac is probably a young man by now and not a little boy. 1 The Hebrew words for “young men” and “lad” in verse five is the same word. and laid him on the altar upon the wood. hand, and took the knife to slay his son. Well, this is the moment of truth:
And Abraham stretched forth his
And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Obviously God hasn’t learned some new information; Abraham’s faith has been made plain. He feared God, and here’s the proof.
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.
Now here’s a great picture: the sheep died in Isaac’s place!
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.
Jehovahjireh means “God sees.” God sees what’s needed and He provides. “In the mount of the Lord, what we need shall be seen.”
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17That in
blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; He says, “By myself have I sworn.” Hebrews tells us: For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath (Heb. 6:13-17). God makes the promise to Abraham to bless him and multiply him, and he takes the oath on His own Name. and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; Now it’s important that we stop here and make a note: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ (Gal. 3:16). It is Christ who will possess the gates of His enemies.
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
The nations of the earth are blessed through Christ. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. Remember this is the place where he’d dug his well.
And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
So, Abraham has a brother named Nahor and a sister-in-law named Milcah. They have several children:
Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother,
How do you like that? Huz and Buz. I should have named my boys that. and Kemuel the father of Aram, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.
And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and
So, they have all these kids, but Bethuel is the one we want to watch:
And Bethuel begat Rebekah:
Rebekah will come back with Abraham’s servant in chapter 24 to marry Isaac. these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah. What can we learn from this passage? #1- Our trials are caused by God to prove our faith. Now remember, it’s not as though God needs reminding or proof—we witness His glory through history, and so we go through trials. Abraham would have never said Jehovahjireh had he not been on that mountain. He would have never known that God would provide a lamb had he not suffered in Egypt and Gerar. #2- We have no need to fear death since God has promised a resurrection. I have no promise to think I’m invincible, but I do know that this body will be resurrected and glorified one day. I’m not afraid to die because I know it’s not my end. In fact death is only the end of the things I hate and the beginning of the things I love. There’s no more pain or sickness or temptation or sin when I die, so in that sense I welcome it! #3- God provides the Lamb! What a great truth! What a great relief! We’re all deserving of Isaac’s death, but God has provided for our need. #4- The Old Testament gospel is the same as the New and it always points to Christ. newgracebaptistchurch.wordpress.com
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