6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will [a]provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Doesn't this seem rather deceptive on the part of Abraham? He knew that God told him to offer up Isaac. Why would he lead Isaac to believe that there would be a sacrifice other than him?
Genesis 22:6 - 8
AMP - 6 Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on [the shoulders of] Isaac his son, and he took the fire (the firepot) in his own hand, and a knife; and the two of them went on together. 7 And Isaac said to Abraham, My father! And he said, Here I am, my son. [Isaac] said, See, here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt sacrifice?
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My first thought would be, so what if it was? I don't expect perfection and sinless behavior from anyone. King David had a premeditated affair and then committed premeditated murder in response. Yikes! I'm sure at the time Abraham was going through some rather intense internal torment. Can you believe what God asked him to do? He was probably in shock. Verse 3 tells us that Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey. Have you thought about that verse? Abraham was a rich man and probably had people to do that sort of thing for him. He also rose early. I think we get some insight into Abraham's mental state with this verse. He probably didn't sleep, he was struggling, he was looking for something to do, he saddled his own donkey. Later in the verse it tells us that Abraham split the wood. Can you just picture Abraham? Sacrifice his own son? How terrible, how awful. I probably wouldn't have been able to do it. But I imagine that if I did have that sort of faith, that I probably would have answered Isaac in the same way. Abraham was probably praying, pleading, begging God inside to let there be another way. Something tells me he didn't hear the news from God, have a good nights sleep and hop skippity wake up in the morning and travel for 3 enjoyable days to the place where the sacrifice was to take place. No, I'm sure it was 3 of the worst days of his life. Would you have responded differently?
The near sacrifice of Isaac, is one of the most confusing of Bible stories. What more does God want from Abraham? What else does Abraham have to do? In chapter 12, God asks him to leave his own country and journey to far away place. And Abraham does it. In chapter 15, God asks him to believe that despite his old age and his wife Sarah’s old age and their lifelong barrenness, a child will be born to them. And Abraham believes it. In chapter 17, God asks Abraham to circumcise himself and all of his male servants as a sign of the covenant between Abraham and God. And Abraham does it. Finally, in chapter 21 the long-awaited child arrives. He is named Isaac. All of Abraham’s faithfulness, it seems, has at last been rewarded. All of what he has done and believed has finally made a difference. What God has promised has at last arrived. Abraham and Sarah together have a son and his name is Isaac. After all that time, all that difficulty, all that improbability, all that faithfulness, what God asks Abraham to do in chapter 22 is almost enough to make you close the book and never open it again. God says, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering” (22:2). Can you believe that? Sacrifice your child because God tells you to? What kind of God is this, anyway? What kind of God makes demands like this? But perhaps even more terrifying from a reader’s perspective is Abraham’s obedience. Once again, Abraham is prepared to do what God demands. Once again, Abraham says “yes” to God. He gathers the wood; he gets a knife; he leads Isaac up the mountain. Abraham is really going to do this. He is going to sacrifice his son because that is what God has asked him to do. Why? Why would God demand this? Why would Abraham do this? Why? The answer perhaps rests in verse 8. Isaac observes that they have everything for a sacrifice except the lamb. “Where is it?” Isaac asks. Abraham answers in verse 8, “God will provide.” That’s why Abraham is able to go through with it: he trusts that God will provide. Abraham doesn’t know the details; he hasn’t seen the plans; he hasn’t received the memo yet; but he is certain that God will provide. Abraham trusts this God without qualification. He may not know what God is doing and why God is doing it, but Abraham knows that God is reliable. When he says "The Lord will provide", Abraham at that very moment answered his own version of Issac's question, "What is God going to do with this since we don't have everything we need to really finish the task?" Abraham's personal faith told him that the God he served had this all figured out already, and therefore what he told Issac was truth, not mis-leading. Besides, can you imagine how different this whole episode would have been, if Abraham did indeed come right out and said.."Son, I am going to kill you!"?
The issue here is not one of deception but of trust. Abraham had learned to trust in the LORD. In turn, he taught his son Isaac to trust in the LORD. One must remember the covenant that God had made with Abraham, that Isaac would be the heir, and all of the promises that were still to come would come through Isaac and his seed. The role played by Isaac is also one that is prophetic in nature. Here he is seen as a type or representation of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Isaac was an innocent child offered as a sacrifice. Jesus Christ was without sin, yet offered Himself as our sacrifice. When the Angel of the LORD stayed Abraham's hand, Isaac was essentially raised from the dead foreshadowing Christ's resurrection. What Isaac learned from this, and was apparently passed on to Jacob was to trust in the LORD and not withhold anything. A lesson that pertains to the Christian today.
The Patriarch Abraham did not deceive his son Isaac in any way, shape, or form. Isaac, when he asked his father where the sacrifice was, received a simple, yet profound statement from his father, "God will provide." WHAT A STATEMENT. Through all the doubt and sorrow that this life can bring, one thing remains true, and that is the fact that the God of Glory will provide. Abraham didn't deceive his son, he was just letting him know that God would provide the sacrifice. We also read a few verses before where Abraham told the men that were with him that we(himself and Isaac) would return unto them, which clearly shows that Abraham fully believed that God would provide a sacrifice in place of his son, Isaac. What people tend to miss though, is that when we follow God, more particularly the Lord Jesus Christ, total and complete obedience is demanded of us. So even though Abraham believed that God would provide a sacrifice in place of Isaac, God had demanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and so Abraham had to have the full intention of sacrificing Isaac, which we know he did, because he raised the knife to slay his son, and that is when the angel stayed the hand of Abraham. God spoke to Abraham and then a ram was sacrificed in place of Isaac, and as Abraham had said, God had provided.
Abraham had FAITH because he knew in his heart that God would not take his son, whom he had promised to him to carry his seed on into the future. When god promises, we should believe that He will do what he promised.
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