Highlights In Today's Reading:
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 (22:2)? Trust Him: God will provide. . . . Jehovah-jireh (22:8,13-14). God picks the perfect wife in answer to prayer (24:48).
Verses for Today:
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven. . . . Lay not thine hand upon the lad . . . for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me (Gen. 22:10-12).On at least three occasions, God told Abraham to give up something that was very precious to him. First, he must separate himself from his native land and other securities (12:1).
Then the day came when God made it clear to Abraham that Ishmael was not the son who would fulfill the Covenant promise of God. Note the compassion in Abraham's plea to God: O that Ishmael might live before Thee! (17:16-19). But Abraham had to send Ishmael away, for Isaac was the child of promise.
The greatest test came years later when Isaac was a young man. God told Abraham: Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest . . . and offer him . . . for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of (22:2).
In obedience to God, Abraham had Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice (22:6), and the two of them went up the mountain together. There was no delay or opposition from either Isaac or Abraham because of their natural affection. Instead, each yielded to the will of God, and faith triumphed over human reasoning. God preserved Isaac's life and also supernaturally provided a sacrificial ram (22:8,13-14).
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb. 11:8).
The life of a believer is a series of tests. In our school of life, we never graduate. God desires that we face these tests, that we may express our desire to be obedient to Him above all else that we may treasure.
Thought for Today:
Lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
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 =gave 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 =what 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 =so 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 =let her make the decision; 24:60 possess the gate of =be 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 International Broadcast sponsored by Wolena Smink • Staff: Beth Carlton • Country: Solomon Islands (455,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: 120 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 66% Protestant; 17% Roman Catholic; 4% spirit worship, ancestor worship, and sorcery • Prayer Suggestion: Pour out your heart in prayer to the Lord for your children (Lam. 2:19).
Optional Reading: Matthew 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:3