Bible Pathways - Jan. 8, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Miraculous, divine intervention is seen throughout today's reading, all because of obedience to God. How fantastic to see the hand of God in action as Abraham does not hesitate to sacrifice Isaac. God does have a plan for everyone when we leave the choice to Him.
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 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 (Genesis 22:1-2).
God did not intend to sanction human sacrifices but only to test Abraham's willing surrender to His will and His Word. Abraham obeyed that call with unwavering trust in God based on his conviction 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 God's best. 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 (Hebrews 11:17).
Thought for Today:
Our walk as a true believer is a faith walk trusting God to lead us through unknown circumstances.
Through Isaac's submission to his father and his willingness to be offered (Genesis 22:7-10) illustrates Jesus, who 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 clove =plit; 22:12 fearest =as reverential, heartfelt submission to; 22:14 Jehovah-jireh =ehovah-Jireh — the Lord will provide; 22:17 seed =escendants; gate =lace of authority; 22:24 concubine =econdary wife without inheritance rights; 23:6 sepulchres =laces of burial, graves, tombs; 24:5 peradventure =hat if; 24:8 oath =worn promise; 24:12 send me a good speed =rant me success; 24:14 damsel =irgin maiden; 24:16 fair =eautiful; known =ad sexual relations with; 24:21 held his peace =bserved her but kept quiet; to wit =o as to know; prosperous =uccessful; 24:25 provender =ood; 24:27 left destitute =orsaken; 24:32 ungirded =nloaded; 24:33 meat =ood; 24:53 raiment =lothing; 24:57 inquire at her mouth =et her make the decision; 24:60 possess at the gate of =e victorious over; 24:62 well Lahairoi =ell of the Living One who sees me (see 16:14): 24:64 lighted off =ismounted from.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in China, Japan, and the Far East sponsored by Jesus (Matthew 6:33) and the English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in Europe, Germany, and Switzerland in memory of Robert Steinmetz • Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His wonderful blessings (Psalm 150:2).
Optional Reading: Matthew 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:8