Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:" (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
Genesis 22:1-2, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 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 upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
A. Why would God tell Abraham to Sacrifice His Own Son as an offering to God?
1. Devil Worshippers and Heathen Religions sacrifice human beings.
Lev. 18:21, "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD." --- 20:1-5, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: 5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."
2 Kings 3:27, "Then he (king of Moab) took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land."
2. This is a Shocking Disregard For Human Life.
3. Human Sacrifice is Unacceptable to God and is Not The Way to Approach and Please God.
B. God Would Never have allowed Abraham to go through with the Sacrifice of His Son --- God had Two Reasons for asking him to do so.
1. To Prove His Love And Loyalty To God.
a. V. 12, "And 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."
(1) Abraham showed Absolute Surrender to Godís demand for Absolute Sacrifice --- the Supreme Test of life.
(2) God accepted the sacrifice and surrender of Abrahamís heart --- It Was Abrahamís Heart, Which God Was After, Not Isaacís Life.
(3) When Abraham reached out and took the knife to slay his son, God knew that Abrahamís heart belonged to Him --- Totally and Absolutely.
(4) Abraham would Sacrifice Anything and Do Anything for God.
b. It was the personal true God (Ha ĎElohim) who spoke to Abraham, not just God (Elohim, the general name used for God)
Rev. 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
c. Abraham demonstrated that a person can Love God Supremely.
Matt. 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
d. Abraham demonstrated that a person can reach an Unusual Height of Spiritual Maturity.
Isa. 43:10, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Matt. 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." --- V. 48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Luke 9:23, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
e. Abraham demonstrated that a person can be Completely Surrendered to God and make the Absolute Sacrifice of himself to God.
Rom. 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
1 Cor. 6:19-20, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Godís."
f. Abraham demonstrated that a person can be Victorious Over Any Circumstance, Test, or Trial.
2 Cor. 2:14, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."
1 John 5:4-5, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
g. Abraham demonstrated that a person can Put God First, Before All Else, No Matter The Cost.
Matt. 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
2. To Show or Picture The Sacrifice of Christ, His Son, On The Cross of Calvary.
a. Abraham was asked to give up his most cherished possession To God.
God has given up His most cherished possession To Man.
b. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his own son For God.
God has sacrificed His only Son For Man.
John 3:16, "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."
Rom. 8:32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
c. Abraham believed that God would raise up his son.
God has raised up His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 2:32, "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."
Acts 5:30, "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree."
Rom. 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
1 Cor. 6:14, "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power."
d. Isaac was willing to obey God and be sacrificed.
Christ voluntarily laid down his life on the Cross.
John 10:17-18, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." --- 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour."
Matt. 26:52-54, "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
e. The Ram was provided as a substitute For Isaac.
The Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ was provided as a substitute For All Mankind.
John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Isa. 53:5-6, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
f. Isaac carried the wood upon which he was to be sacrificed.
Christ carried the cross upon which He was to be sacrificed.
James 19:17, "And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:"
g. Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice upon Mt. Moriah, --- Jerusalem.
God offered up Christ on Mt. Moriah (Calvary/ Golgotha)
h. Abraham call Mr. Moriah Jehovaah-Jireh, "The Lord Will Provide" --- God provided a Substitutionary Sacrifice For Abraham.
God has provided a Substitutionary Sacrifice For Us in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:10, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Genesis 22:3-5, "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
A. In spite of Abrahamís faithfulness, He must have had Many Doubts and Questions:
1. How could God tell me to offer my son as a sacrifice? --- I would rather die myself.
2. Is this not against Godís law --- and also would it not be murder?
3. How can I ever face Sarah again, or for that matter anyone?
4. What about my testimony before the world, what are the unbelievers going to?
5. How can I reconcile this command with your promise?
B. Abrahamís Inability To Resolve These Problems Did Not Keep Him From Obeying God.
Can you imagine how Abraham must have been hurting, his heart so heavy that he felt that it would burst, as he walked nearer and nearer to the place of sacrifice.
C. Abraham believed that God would Raise Up Isaac from the dead.
1. He told his servants that He And Isaac Would Return --- keep in mind, Abraham Had Never Seen Anyone Raised From The Dead --- but he stilled believed .....
2. Heb. 11:17-19, "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure."
D. Godís Richest Blessing are laid up for those who are Completely Surrendered To God.
Psa. 31:19, "Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!"
Psa. 37:5, "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
Psa. 118:8, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
Prov. 3:5, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Isa. 26:3-4, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:"
Rom. 4:20-21,"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."
Genesis 22:6-14, "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And 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. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."
A. Isaac Willingly let his father bind and offer him.
1. Abraham was an elderly man (120 years of age) and Isaac a strong youth of 20 years of age.
2. Isaac could have easily overcome his father and fled away.
B. Have you ever Offered Up Your Life as a sacrifice to God?
1. Do We Love God More than anything else in life?
2. Are we willing to Sacrifice Ourselves Totally for God and His cause?
3. Are we willing to Sacrifice Everything For God --- all our possessions --- in order to take the gospel to the world --- What If God Asked For One of Your Children?
4. Are we willing to Obey God Totally, no matter the cost?
C. We, as Godís Children, must Give Ourselves Completely To God.
Luke 9:23-25, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?"
Matt. 16:25, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
Luke 14:26-27, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." --- V. 33, "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
Luke 18:29-30, "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of Godís sake, 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."
D. It is always the Willingness, the Surrender of The Heart that makes the offering of a Sacrifice acceptable to God --- God Is After The Heart --- Not The Sacrifice.
1 Sam. 15:22, "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."
Psa. 51:16-17, "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
Prov. 21:3, "To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice."
Jer. 7:22-23, "For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."
Heb. 10:6-10, "In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
Genesis 22:15-18, "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."
A. The source of Great Spiritual Strength is to have Godís Promises Renewed Within Our Hearts.
B. God gave Abraham a solemn oath --- God Swore By Himself, He staked His promises upon His Own Nature And Name.
1. The great promises of God are Sure, Guaranteed and Confirmed by God Himself.
a. God stands behind Every Single Promise.
b. Every promise will be fulfilled Literally and Completely.
c. The Omnipotent Power of God guarantees their fulfillment.
2. Heb. 6:13, "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,"
C. Notice, some of the Promises Which God Has Given:
Rom. 4:21, "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."
2 Cor. 1:20, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
True Even of The Gentiles --- Eph. 3:6, "That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"
True Even of Godís Blessings --- Eph. 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"
2 Tim. 2:13, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."
2 Pet. 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
1 John 2:25, "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life."
1 Kings 8:56, "Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant."
Genesis 22:19-24, "So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. 20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; 21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abrahamís brother. 24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah."
A. Abraham travelled back and settled in Beersheba (V. 19).
B. Abraham received some good news about his brother Nahor.
1. There had been no contact between the two brothers for about sixty years.
2. Nahor lived in Mesopotamia, probably in the city of Hahor named after him.
3. Abrahamís brother had been blessed with a large family.
4. This Genealogy seems to be given here in order to show the Family Roots of Rebekah, who was soon to become the Wife of Isaac.
C. The life of Abraham gives us an excellent study of the Test or Crises of Life:
1. Every crisis and problem in human life is Not A Test From God.
2. We Often Bring Crises Upon Ourselves because of our Sin and Disobedience to God.
3. There are times when God Does Test Us, and we need to understand this fact.
a. Sometimes God initiates the test Himself.
b. Sometimes God allows the crisis to arise form Natural or Human Events.
c. Sometimes God allow Satan to create a crisis.
D. Why Does God Test Believers?
1. To Make Us Stronger.
a. When a person endures and conquers a crisis, he is Inwardly Stronger than ever before --- He is far more able to conquer crises in the future.
b. 2 Cor. 4:16, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." --- 12:9, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2. To Make Us Look Forward To Heaven More.
a. Crises, especially severe crises of suffering, pain, and grief, make us long for heaven.
b. 2 Cor. 4:17-18, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
c. Heb. 11:8-11, "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. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." --- V. 13-16, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
3. To Make Us A Great Witness For Him To Others.
a. When a person Endures and Conquers a crisis, he is a Testimony To Others --- A Living Example.
b. 2 Cor. 1:3-4, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
E. Notice The Test Abraham Faces Throughout His Life:
1. Godís call to Separation --- the "Family" test --- (12:4-9)
a. Called to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, he was to Separate From His Country, Relatives, Possessions And Property.
b. At first, Abraham was weak in this area but later passed the test and committed his life to God.
2. Hunger and Famine and the possibility of losing all of his Business Holdings --- the "Famine" test --- (12:10-13:4)
Abraham Failed this test --- he forsook the promised land and Went Down Into Egypt.
3. Lotís Separation from Abraham --- the "Fellowship" test --- (13:5-18)
a. This separation was due to the Materialistic and Greedy nature of Lot.
b. Abraham not only lost the best ranch land but he also loved Lot as his own son.
4. The Invading Army from the East --- the "Fight" test --- (14:1-16)
a. Invaders captured all the citizens of the surrounding cities, including Lot.
b. Abraham met the crisis head-on and demonstrated unusual courage in his victory.
5. Seeking Worldly Honor, Power, Position, And Riches --- the "Fortune" test --- (14:17-24)
Abraham could have become ruler over much of the land, but he refused to run ahead of God.
6. Not Have A Son, having to be patient and wait upon God --- the "Fatherhood" test --- (16:1-16)
This test required patience and belief and Abraham failed this test and went in unto Hagar.
7. Godís Judgment and emotional security --- (19:1-38)
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
8. Again facing the Lost of All He Had --- (20:1-18)
Again Abraham forsook the promised land and went down to the capital of the Philistines.
9. Separated and Divorced From His Loved Ones --- the "Farewell" test --- (21:8-21)
Sent Hagar and his son Ishmael away.
10. Offering Isaac as a sacrifice to God --- (22:1-14)
The Ultimate test.
F. Not Every difficult experience in life is necessarily a Personal Test From God.
1. Sometimes Our Own Disobedience causes the pain or disappointment.
2. Sometimes our hurts are simply a Part of Normal Human Life --- as we grow older, friends and loved ones relocate or die, life changes around us, and we must make painful adjustments.
G. We need to learn to Distinguish Between Trials And Temptations.
1. Temptations come from our Desires Within Us.
James 1:12-16, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren."
Trials come From The Lord who has a Special Purpose to fulfill.
2. Temptations are used By The Devil to bring out the Worst In Us.
Trials are used By God to bring out the Best In Us.
James 1:2-6, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."
3. Temptations seem Logical
Trails seem Unreasonable.
4. All Believers Are Faced With Similar Temptations To Sin.
1 Cor. 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
Not All Believers Experience The Same Trials of Faith --- Godís Testings Are Tailor-Made For Each Child of God.
H. Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck wrote:
"Life is difficult. Once we truly know that life is difficult --- once we truly understand and accept it --- then life is no longer difficult."
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
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