Genesis 2:7, 1:26-27

Genesis 12-22    Abraham's Journey of Faith      – A Living Commentary

D.) The Testing ... (Genesis 22)

The means by which God’s grace abounds in our lives!

Abraham's Journey of Faith
Intro & Objectives
A) The Call (Genesis 12:1)
B) The Promises (Genesis 12:2-3)
C) The Method (Genesis 15)
D) The Testing (Genesis 22)
Assignment

Tests of the LORD

Waiting for God’s timing is one hard thing to do. Waiting for something to happen tests both the importance of what God has said as well as our belief that God will fulfill His Word. Genesis 22 leaps beyond this kind of testing, though, with another kind of test, the test of sacrifice.

Will you really wait for God?The 'timing test' tried Abraham on endurance and suffering. Many years he had to go without. This test to sacrifice his only son Isaac, however, tested his belief in the impossible as well as God’s determination to accomplish what He would. Abraham was asked to give up every glimmer of hope to fulfill the things that he waited for throughout his whole life.

No matter how much Abraham has prospered, the test is about who he would pass it down to. By offering up Isaac to God, Abraham was willing to sacrifice all that he had or dreamed of. He cared less for his dreams than obedience to what God wanted.

Will you really sacrifice what you have for God?Morality of Sacrifices

Some ask about the morality of asking a father to kill his child. The issue is not easy to resolve unless one takes God's perspective. Let's first ask if it was immoral to offer up Jesus Christ on the cross? If it was immoral, then God is not holy. He has done something that violates His person.

Since He is holy, we must accept the fact that God can ask others to give up their life by the hand of others, especially when there is a greater purpose involved. This is what we do in war, but this scene is much greater. It is the scene of redemption and salvation. The One who set the laws of the world established what is moral by who He is and what He wills.

Isaac's carrying the wood needed for his sacrifice clearly gives us a picture of Christ bearing the wooden cross upon which He would be sacrificed.

We can be sure Christ meditated on this passage at this time. He chose to be the loyal son as Isaac.

Isaac was a strong teenager that was willing to give up his life. We do not read of any sort of physical struggle to have Isaac lie on the altar. By carrying the wood (figure of Christ carry the cross), we know Isaac was at least a young man. It is possible that Abraham knocked him out but the context doesn’t lead us to this line of thinking. Instead we see an obedient son laying on the altar when being bound by his father.

This is the perfect picture of Jesus who willingly gave up His life on the cross at His Heavenly Father’s request. Isaac, it seems then, willingly gave up his life at his father’s request just as Jesus did.

The Sacrifice

Faith grows the quickest through in life's most difficult struggles that God puts before us. The greatest struggle is not to wait for gaining what we hope for (Abraham hoping for a child) but to give up what we have gained (Abraham sacrificing his only son).

Just as Jesus talked about pruning to bear fruit, so God regularly, though most carefully, takes us through testing times. Genesis 22:1 says, "God tested Abraham." The test is a careful arrangement of circumstances so that our faith can grow. Remember that the fruit we bear will be only as good as the plant itself. God is constantly upgrading the plant so that it bears better fruit.

I can think of many times that God has asked me to sacrifice what I have so to test my heart. During a comfortable time in pastoral ministry, the Lord spoke and led me to resign. He was asking me to trust him with the two things that I treasured: a good ministry and comfortable provision financially for my family. Both of these things were gone, but the Lord in the end has worked through those difficult and trying times to bring forth a whole new ministry (BFF).

Reflection

Go to the assignment. There you will be shown how to deliberately make yourself a living sacrifice. Our hope is that if we willingly give up what we treasure, we will not have to have so many things 'violently' seized from us. God will test your heart to find what is really in it. What is in your heart? Do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind?

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The Genesis Index

Genesis Introduction:  Introduction to Genesis |  Outline and Genealogies  |  Genesis' Chronologies (5 & 11) |   Unified Themes of Genesis
Genesis 1-2:3:   The Worship of the Creator |  The Meaning of Creation  |  Creation Lessons on God.  |  God and the World's Religions
Genesis 2:4-17:    Preparation for Man (Genesis 2:4-6) |  Creation of Man (Gen. 2:7, 1:26-27) |  Purpose for Man (Genesis 2:8-17)
Genesis 2:18-25: The Foundations of Marriage
Genesis 3:1-13: The Fall of Man | Temptation (Genesis 3:1-6) | The Fall (Genesis 3:7-13) | Questions 3:1-6 | Questions 3:7-13
Genesis 5-9: Genesis Flood | Genesis 05 Genealogical Chart
Genesis 10-11: Noah's Sons| Questions | History Genesis 10:6-11 | Tower of Babel Genesis 11:1-9 | Questions | Culture Genesis 11
Genesis 12-22:   The Call: Genesis 12.1The Promises: Genesis 12.2-3  |  The Means: Genesis 15The Testing: Genesis 22
Genesis 12-16: Introduction |   Place Detour: Genesis 12:10-20; 20 |  Person Detour: Genesis 12:13-14Procedure Detour: Genesis 16-17
Genesis 14:1-24: Three Steps to Spiritual Growth | #1 Observe | #2 Utlilitize | #3 Secure
Genesis 18-19: Cultural Woes of Sodom | Appearing to Abraham | Visit to Sodom | Debate of Homosexuality and Sodom
Genesis 21-26: Isaac's Model for Godly Marriages
Genesis 27-36: Genesis 27-36 Jacob's Life of Faith
Genesis 25-37: Influence of Sin | God and Man's Sin | Understanding Man's Sin Nature | Understanding Jacob's Sins
Genesis 37-50: Joseph’s Dillusonment | Genesis 42-47:12: The Big Picture | Conclusion | The Reason



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Biblical Foundations for Freedom