Monday, January 09, 2017


Genesis 22.7-10 NKVJ

“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.”
The writers of the New Testament and commentators throughout history extolled the faith of Abraham “who believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (James 2.23; Galatians 3.6; Romans 4.3; Hebrews 11.17-19; Genesis 15.6). Abraham was a man of great faith. But what about Isaac? It took more than a little faith for Isaac to hold still for an untimely death.

Imagine Isaac’s horror. Abraham binds his beloved son and heaves him upon a makeshift altar in the mountains of Moriah. With perhaps the same crude stone knife he used to circumcise himself and Isaac’s older brother Ishmael, Abraham now lifts the instrument of death in obedience to God. He prepares to thrust it into Isaac and kill what he loves the most. He will sacrifice his son! [1]

The story has a happy ending. An angel halts the deadly deed and provides a ram for the sacrificial offering. Abraham would commemorate the event by naming the place “Jehovah Jireh” (the LORD will provide) as recorded in Genesis 22.14. But his miraculous deliverance that does not take away from the faith required for Isaac to willingly surrender his life. Isaac could have resisted. Apparently his love and trust was greater than the shock of his own betrayal at the hand of the man he affectionately and intimately knew as Abi, “My father.”

Would I hold still in complete surrender if my heavenly Father betrayed my trust? Not likely, but that’s what the Son of God did... 

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last.”
Mark 15.34; Luke 23:46 ESV

Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
Job 13.15a KJV

[1] The Bible indicates that the experience at Moriah occurred “Some time later” (Genesis 22.1) following the events surrounding Isaac’s birth and the dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis 21. First century Jewish historian Josephus thought Isaac to be 25 years old at this time and wrote: “Now Isaac was of such a generous disposition as became the son of such a father,… So he went immediately to the altar to be sacrificed,” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 13, Sections 46, 48). Dating in Reese’s Chronological Bible, suggests that Isaac was 33 years old when Abraham was called to place him on the altar. This is approximately the age of Jesus when He was sacrificed for the sins of the world.

"The Sacrifice of Isaac" was painted by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), who is widely considered to be the earliest great artist of the Baroque school of painting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave. An interesting perspective also. I guess that historically I have alays thought of I saac as being much younger and not fully comprehending what was going on. And as far as me staying still and trusting under those circumstances? to quote Dana Carvey: "Not gunna do it."

My journal entry for Monday:

"Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink."

---Genesis, ch 21, vs 17.

More evidence that from the beginning of time, God has been there to meet our needs. In this case he's meeting both the physical and emotional needs of Hagar and Ishmael. In this case, God quite literally provides living water for both of them to drink. The word says that they were in the desert. We now know that people can not survive in such conditions for much more than 24 hours without water.

This story reminds me of the Samaritan woman at the well who met Jesus and asked him: "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

-----John, ch 4, vs 41.

Hagar's needs were emotional and physical, but Jesus knew the woman at the well was in need of spiritual rebirth. (living water). Jesus stayed with the Samaritans two additional days "and because of his words, many more became believers."

-----John, ch 4, vs 41.

I need to remember to stop every day, read the word and pray, becazuse just like Hagar, Ishmael and the Samaritan woman by the well, I am in great need of "living water."

Dave, thanks for the vine.


Angela A.K.A "Lillie's Mom" said...

I'm not exactly sure how I came upon your blog today. But no matter what I've enjoyed reading it. I always say that I love this story. Of Abraham heading up the Mountain to sacrifice his son. I am the mother of an 8 year old little girl. We have such an awesome bond and relationship. So I can't imagine how Abraham must have felt when first God told him that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars and the sky, and then tells him sacrifice the son who that blessing would come through. But good ol' Abraham trusted God to provide another way, another sacrifice, which he did through the ram.

Here the other week I was listening to someone preach or teach and they said that Mt. Moriah could have possibly been the same mountain where Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins, where he himself was the lamb that was slain. If in fact it was the same mountain how awesome is it that in one instance, God sent Abraham to sacrifice his son, but stopped him and later God sacrificed his own son to save the world from all of its wretchedness.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Dave Scriven said...

Thank you for the excellent comment Angela.