Read Genesis 22 -- 24
In Today's Reading:
Abraham's willingness to offer Isaac; God's Covenant renewed; Sarah's death; Rebekah's marriage to Isaac
After 25 years of waiting for the promised son, God said to Abraham: Sarah your wife shall bear you a son . . . you shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish My Covenant with him (Genesis 17:19). It came to pass after these things, that God . . . said to . . . Abraham. . . . Take . . your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering (22:1-2).
Isaac was a young man when Abraham's faith was given a final test. A burnt offering sacrifice was always to be a male animal, the best the offerer had, and it was wholly consumed by fire as an expression of uncompromising dedication to God. Abraham believed that Isaac must live since God had said: I will establish My Covenant with him; yet, now the command of God was to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Obediently, Abraham rose up . . . and took . . . Isaac his son, and split the wood for the burnt offering . . . and went to the place of which God had told him (22:3). With unquestioned faith in God, Abraham said to his young men, Abide . . . here . . . I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you (22:5).
On Mount Moriah, Abraham built an altar. When Isaac inquired how they could offer a sacrifice without a sacrificial animal, Abraham responded: My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering (22:8). Abraham's many years of trusting in the Lord gave him faith in God when it didn't seem reasonable. This is an amazing testimony of how Abraham's faith had grown over the years until he knew that God never makes a mistake and he believed God was able to raise him up, even from the dead (Hebrews 11:19).
Abraham . . . took the knife to slay his son. . . . the Angel of the LORD called to him out of heaven, and said, Abraham. . . . Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do any thing to him: for now I know that you fear God. . . . Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked (and saw) . . . a ram (male goat) caught in a thicket by its horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead (instead) of his son (Genesis 22:10-13). Through trials and suffering, the Lord develops our faith. God . . . will not suffer (permit) you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape (I Corinthians 10:13).
22:1 tempt = test, prove; 22:3 clave = split; 22:12 fearest = reverence, unconditionally surrender to; 22:14 Jehovah-jireh = the Lord will provide; 23:17 were made sure = were deeded to; 24:60 seed possess the gate = descendants to overcome.
Through Isaac's willingness to be offered (Genesis 22:7-10; compare John 10:11-18). Jesus willingly offered His life. I lay down (give up) My life. . . . of Myself (10:17-18).
Government Officials: Rep. Charles Bass (NH), Rep. Richard Pombo (CA), and Gov. Bob Taft (OH) · Country: Kazakhstan (17 million) central Asia · Major languages: Kazakh and Russian · Religious tolerance · 40% Muslim; 25% Russian Orthodox/Armenian Apostolic; 1% Protestant; .6% Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7).
Optional Reading: Matthew 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3