Genesis 22:1-19  Isaac - An Offering 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 And 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."

 

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. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 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." 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.

 

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided."

 

15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-- 17 blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.” NKJV

 

Facts revealed:

Y      God had already said that He knew Abraham would command his children and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.   [Genesis 18:19]

Y      Here we learn that even when God fully knows His people, just as He knew Job, yet God does test His people in very extreme ways to prove His knowledge of the individual.

 

We need to realize this fact today, so when the tests do come, and they will, that we will not lose our faith, but that through the test we may become stronger in our relationship with God, trusting and believing all He has revealed.

 

Y      God commanded Abraham to “take 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.”

 

 

Abraham, at God’s command, had sent his firstborn son Ishmael away because God had said, “in Isaac your seed shall be called.” And Abraham believed God.   [Genesis 21:12]

 

Now God calls Isaac by name as Abraham’s “only son whom you love.”

 

God specified the exact place for the sacrifice of Isaac to take place which was on Mount Moriah where we learn in [2 Chronicles 2:1], it was to be the location of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Y      Abraham did not tell anyone what was to happen, he just obeyed God as instructed.

 

In [Hebrews 11:17-19] we learn that Abraham believed God and was confident that if he was to sacrifice Isaac at God’s command, that God was able and would raise Isaac from the dead to keep His promise to Abraham that “in Isaac your seed shall be called.”

 

Y      Abraham’s faith was evident as he said to the young men who accompanied them, “Stay here with the donkey, the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

Y      Isaac questioned where they would get an animal to sacrifice, and Abraham said, “My son, Elohiym will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” 

 

In saying this he didn’t tell Isaac what he was about to do since he didn’t know what was ahead, but only that he was obeying the command of God and believed that they would both return from the sacrifice.

Y      In blind faith Abraham obeyed God and Isaac didn’t resist as he bound his son and prepared to kill him on the altar.

Y      God waited to the last moment before He called to Abraham from Heaven and stopped the sacrifice of Isaac.

Y      It is interesting that, at this point, after God had already said He knew Abraham, He now says in the hearing of Isaac, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

 

This is confirmation of God’s foreknowledge as Abraham has proven himself faithful in fact and in deed. 

Y      God honored Abraham’s statement that “God will provide for Himself a lamb for a burnt offering,” when Abraham looked behind him and found a ram caught in the thicket by its horns.  So Abraham took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

 

God was faithful in providing a substitute offering acceptable to God establishing the precedent as Abraham predicted that God will provide for Himself a Sacrifice. 

 

The Hebrew Talmud explains that this was done to prove that Abraham loved God as much (or more) then the pagans loved their bloody idols.  However, the Almighty wants our love and obedience, not our children’s ashes.

 

Isaac was a first-hand witness with the tremendous realization of the greatness of the occasion when he found himself to be “the object” of the sacrifice and experienced the deliverance and Salvation of God.  This is a picture of the Salvation a Christian should feel as Christ Jesus became our Substitute when He offered Himself as a Sacrifice for all of our sins.

 

This was a symbolic foretaste of the Sacrifice God would make for the sins of the world by sacrificing His Only Begotten Son on the cross of Calvary, which is also in Jerusalem near the place where God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac.

 

Mount Moriah has become the central focus of the world when it comes to the place where God is recognized and the ground is considered as Holy Ground.  This is true for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Y      Abraham named the place, “Yehowah Yireh” meaning, The Lord will see (and provide), as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of Yehowah, it shall be provided.”  Or in Hebrew, “Behar Yahowah yera’eh” -  On the Mount of the Lord there is vision.”

Y      The Angel of Yehowah called to Abraham a second time from Heaven, (when God speaks from Heaven we can hear as though He stood at our side).  In this case, God confirmed the universal blessing He had established originally with Abraham;

In promising Abraham, “In blessing I will bless you.”

In promising to multiply Abraham’s descendants in number like the stars of the heavens and the sand on the seashore.

And above all, in the promise that in Abraham’s seed all nations of the earth will be blessed.

 

With the reason for such a strong confirmation being, “Because you have obeyed My Voice.”  A great lesson in not only believing what God says, but in obeying what He commands.  This is of utmost importance today as we approach the Day of Judgment.  His promise of a Substitute Redeemer to save us by His shed blood is as true for us as it was for Isaac.

Y      Abraham did as he had said, and returned to his young men and they all returned to Beersheba, and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

Y      May we today follow Abraham’s example of faith in obedience to the things God commands for us to do in the world in which we live.  Jesus said, Teach them to do all that I have commanded, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”  [Matthew 28:20]