The Lord Provides
Key Verse: “He said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”
AS WE CONSIDER THESE words concerning God’s dealings with Abraham, we will come to learn a great lesson concerning faith. Actually this account details one of the greatest tests of faith that we have ever had recorded in the written Word. Abraham’s entire life was one of faith, a life of trust and reliance upon God’s divine promises. This ultimate test of faith would come through the divine command that Abraham should take his son, and offer him as a sacrifice to God upon Mount Moriah. “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, … and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering.”—Gen. 22:2
To be able to appreciate this event fully, we must remember that Abraham was over 100 years old, and that Isaac was the son whom the Lord had indicated would be the channel for all of the promised blessings. Abraham and his wife Sarah had been childless, and in their old age had finally been given a long-awaited son. (Gen. 21:1-5) Through the years, Abraham had become personally acquainted with God, and the knowledge of God’s works and his promises that had been handed down through the faithful patriarchs were trusted and believed by him. This knowledge and acquaintance with God gave him the faith, love, and courage to obey. To a person of Abraham’s character, the divine command called for prompt obedience.
He rose up early in the morning to take his son Isaac to the place where God had commanded him to go. (Gen. 22:3) When they came to the place of sacrifice, Abraham unwaveringly built an altar, laid the wood in order and laid Isaac on the altar. He stretched out his hand to slay his son, but at the very last moment God, through an angel, stopped the hand of Abraham from completing the sacrifice of his son. The sacrifice was reckoned to be complete in the sight of heaven. Abraham received his son from the dead, “in a figure.” (Heb. 11:19) God provided a ram for Abraham, and he offered it in sacrifice according to his Father’s will. (Gen. 22:10,11,13) This served as an indication of a part of the process by which reconciliation of divine justice will be made on behalf of all of the people of the earth.—Ps. 89:14,15
This incident from the life of Abraham has a further meaning. Abraham serves here as a type, or picture, of the Almighty God, and his son Isaac serves as a picture of our Lord Jesus. In an even grander sense, Isaac pictures The Christ, or the Head and body. The Heavenly Father freely offered up his Son on our behalf for the sins of the whole world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) His birth, and a promise of what this blessed Son of God would accomplish as his mission, is beautifully worded in Isaiah 9:6, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
How blessed we are that God provided us with these lessons, and that he provided “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29