|Genesis 22:1-18 |
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 your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." [This sounds like a very cruel, evil test that God is requiring; but in this time, the practice of sacrificing children prevailed among the neighboring early Chaldaeans and Canaanites. So, to test Abraham's willingness to do the same is more understandable, particularly since it was only a test of Abraham's obedience to God and was a very common practice of the people in that time.]
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men and Isaac his son with him; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering and rose up and went to the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place in the distance.
5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and the lad and I will go over there and worship and then we will come back to you."
6 Then Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son, and he took the fire and a knife in his hand; and the two of them went on together.
7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, "My father." And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8 And Abraham said, "My son, God himself will provide a lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went on together.
9 Then they came to the place that God had told him about, and Abraham built an altar there; and he laid the wood in order, 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 And the angel of the LORD called to him out of heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
12 And he said, "Do not lay your hand upon the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear and reverence God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son."
13 Then Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh [the Lord will provide]. As it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, "I have sworn by myself, says the LORD, that because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand that is upon the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of his enemies,
18 And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice."1
1 in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice. By obedient faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place that he would after receive for an inheritance, went out in obedience, not knowing where he went. When tested, by obedient faith Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son. By obedient faith Abraham painfully circumcised himself and all the males of his household. Abraham is credited as being the father of all those who are justified by faith; but look! Abraham's faith was to obey God's voice. Gentle reader: faith without obedience is lip service. Obedience is the evidence of faith; the result of persistent obedience is purity, holiness, cleanliness, and the fruit of the Spirit. The Lord Jesus said: Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46. Faith without works of loving obedience to the commands of the Lord, is make-believe Christianity. Faith that doesn't purify is the hypocrites' faith. Salvation claimed while still sinning, is the devil's covenant of death, a lie: Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with hell will not stand. Isa 28:18. For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thes 4:7. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Heb 12:14. By your firm and patient endurance do you attain the true Life of your souls. Luke 21:19. What endurance? Endurance on the cross, endurance in tribulation, endurance in obedience, endurance in seeking, endurance in self-denial.