Read Genesis 22
Miraculous intervention is seen throughout today's reading because of obedience to God. Abraham faces the greatest test of his life; how would we respond (Gen. 22:2)? Trust Him: God will provide. . . . Jehovah-jireh (22:8,13-14). God picks the perfect wife in answer to prayer (24:48).
Abraham was called of God and is known for his great faith as well as his remarkable faithfulness to God. However, he experienced one severe trial after another. It was a test of faith when he left his father's house and the security of his home country to seek the land of promise. It was a test of faith when he arrived and there was a famine in the land and he felt it was necessary to go to Egypt to survive. It was a test of faith when Lot chose all the well-watered plains and left Abraham nothing but barren hills for grazing his herds. It was a test of faith when, as an old man, Abraham could not understand why God had not answered his prayer for a son to be his heir. What a life of struggles he had to endure! It was after these things that it was said: God did tempt (test the faith of) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering (Gen. 22:1-2).
God did not intend to sanction human sacrifices, but His intent was to test Abraham's willingness to surrender to His will and His Word. Abraham obeyed that call with unwavering trust in God because he was convinced that God would be faithful to His promise that in Isaac shall thy seed be called (21:12).
We read this incident knowing the outcome and could easily overlook the deep distress which must have filled the heart of this godly man. Every time Abraham looked upon Isaac, he was reminded that Isaac was a special gift in answer to prayer. Thine only son, Isaac. We cannot conceive of a greater test than this heartbreaking command that God chose to test Abraham's faith (James 1:3).
It was a three-day journey of about 50 miles to Mount Moriah — uphill every step of the way. It is always "uphill" for those who walk by faith. The majority will remain in the valley under the shade of self-satisfaction, but it takes self-denial to gain the best blessings of God. The man of faith is not searching for an oasis on the way. His only concern will be to please God — to sacrifice everything — even life itself.
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son (Heb. 11:17).
Thought for Today:
Through trials and suffering the Lord develops our faith (Gal. 5:22) and patience. God . . . will not suffer (permit) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape (I Cor. 10:13).
Isaac's submission to his father and his willingness to be offered (Gen. 22:7-10) illustrate Jesus, who submitted to His father and willingly offered His life as a sacrifice for our sins. I lay down (give up) My life. . . . No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself (John 10:11-18).
22:3 clave split; 22:12 fearest have reverential, heartfelt submission to; 22:14 Jehovah-jireh the Lord will provide; 22:17 seed descendants; gate place of authority and entrance to the city; 22:24 concubine secondary wife without inheritance rights; 23:6 sepulchres places of burial, graves, tombs; 24:5 peradventure that if; 24:8 oath sworn promise; 24:12 send me good speed grant me success; 24:14 damsel virgin maiden; 24:16 fair beautiful; known had sexual relations with; 24:21 held his peace observed her but kept quiet; to wit to as to know; prosperous successful; 24:25 provender food; 24:27 left destitute forsaken; 24:32 ungirded unloaded; 24:33 meat food; 24:53 raiment clothing; 24:57 inquire at her mouth met her make the decision; 24:60 possess the gate of victorious over; 24:62 well Lahairoi well of the Living One who sees me (see 16:14): 24:64 lighted off dismounted from.
Pray for Country: Papua New Guinea (5 million) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: 715 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 64% Protestant; 33% Roman Catholic; 2% ancestor worship, belief in spirits, and witchcraft • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will move His people to give faithfully to His work (Mal. 3:8-10).
Optional Reading: Matthew 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Genesis 1:1