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Session 1: Our Provider

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The Setting

By the time we come to chapter 22, many years have passed. Abraham and Sarah had finally settled in. Their days of wandering about and living in makeshift tents were over. Isaac was becoming a young man now.
Go to
Genesis 22:1–2 ESV
1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “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 on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
>>Is testing the same as tempting? Look at ; 16:4
God does not tempt anyone to do evil (see note on ); he does, however, test the commitment of people (e.g., ; ).
James 1:13 ESV
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
James 1:13 ESV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
Exodus 15:25 ESV
And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them,
Exodus 15:25–26 ESV
25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”
Exodus 16:4 ESV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
>>God tested Abraham’s faith. Is it good to have your faith tested? Look at
James 1:2–4 ESV
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The implication of God testing Abraham is that he gives the patriarch an opportunity to demonstrate his faith. A purely theoretical faith is inferior to a faith that has been tested and tried through the experiences of life. No hint that Abraham might fail the test arises in this story.
In Jewish thought, Abraham’s binding of Isaac became the supreme example of faithful obedience and self-sacrifice to God and is expressed in . For this to happen, God had to be able not only to resurrect Isaac from the dead, but also to reconstitute him from the ashes of being offered as a burnt offering.
Hebrews 11:17–19 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

The Possible Connections of the Location

Although not spelled out specifically, According to , Solomon constructed the temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem where Yahweh appeared to David on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. While does not specify that the sacrifice of Isaac took place at or near Jerusalem, v. 14 possibly implies such a connection. Today Abraham’s rock is covered by the ‘Dome of the Rock’ Mosque in Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 3:1 ESV
1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
Genesis 22 ESV
1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “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 on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And 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 they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. 9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” 15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba. 20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
>>”Take your son, your only son, whom you love…”, sound familiar with any particular NT verse?
>>what about Ishmael? Why did God say “your only son”? Look at
>>what about Ishmael? Why did God say “your only son”? Look at
>>what about Ishmael? Why did God say “your only son”? Look at
Genesis 17:21 ESV
21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
Since Isaac is not Abraham’s only son (he had Ishmael by Hagar earlier; 16:11–16), the Hebrew text here is referring to value, not number. Isaac is Abraham’s special son—through him the covenant promises with God will be passed on (17:21).
>>Have you ever thought of Isaac here? Could he have prevented being tied up? He was likely in his mid to late teens (strong enough to carry wood up a mountain).
James 1:2–4 ESV
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The implication of God testing Abraham is that he gives the patriarch an opportunity to demonstrate his faith. A purely theoretical faith is inferior to a faith that has been tested and tried through the experiences of life. No hint that Abraham might fail the test arises in this story.
In Jewish thought, Abraham’s binding of Isaac became the supreme example of faithful obedience and self-sacrifice to God and is expressed in . For this to happen, God had to be able not only to resurrect Isaac from the dead, but also to reconstitute him from the ashes of being offered as a burnt offering.
Hebrews 11:17–19 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
>>Have you ever thought of Isaac here? Could he have prevented being tied up? He was likely in his mid to late teens (strong enough to carry wood up a mountain).

Isaac as a Type of Christ

What does it mean to be a type of Christ?
When we say that someone is a type of Christ, we are saying that a person in the Old Testament behaves in a way that corresponds to Jesus’ character or actions in the New Testament. When we say that something is “typical” of Christ, we are saying that an object or event in the Old Testament can be viewed as representative of some quality of Jesus.
Thus Jesus, like Isaac, is described as a son, and the Father willingly sacrificed him (; ; ).
Isaiah 53:10 ESV
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Acts 2:23 ESV
23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Isaac is described as Abraham’s only son, but the Hebrew yachid should be translated “unique.” (Also “only” is not a suitable translation because Ishmael also was a son of Abraham.)
refers to Isaac with the Greek term monogenēs, which is the same word found in , ; , ; describing Jesus—above all, this term refers to uniqueness.
Hebrews 11:17 ESV
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,
John 1:14 ESV
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 ESV
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:18 ESV
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
1 John 4:9 ESV
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
Just as Isaac was the object of his father’s love, so too Jesus is described as the object of His Father’s love (; ).
Matthew 3:17 ESV
17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:22 ESV
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Also the name Isaac, like the name Jesus, was chosen by God and not the parents (; ). This too was an extremely rare occurrence in Scripture.
Genesis 17:19 ESV
19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.
Matthew 1:21 ESV
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
What are some other examples of types of Christ in the OT?
A few: Adam, Joseph, the Ark, the brazen serpent, David
Let’s move to :
Genesis 22:3–10 ESV
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And 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 they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. 9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
Verse 4 makes note of it being the third day when he’s ready to encounter God. Perhaps this sets the pattern for the significance of the third day elsewhere. Compare ; ; and
Exodus 19:11 ESV
11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
Matthew 16:21 ESV
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
1 Corinthians 15:4 ESV
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
>>Verse 5 Abraham says “WE will return to you.” What can you gather from that?
(Make a note here on importance of looking at different translations when studying as ESV does not use word “we”
>>In Verse 8 a substitute is provided. What’s the significance of that for us today?
22:8 Isaac comes near to being sacrificed, but God provides a substitute. Ultimately God will sacrifice his only Son, who dies in our place. The ram prefigures the sacrifice of Christ.
Galatians 3:13 ESV
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Galatians 3:16 ESV
16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
>>In verses 9-10 Consider that Abraham certainly had some sins in his past, just like us. But his desire to go through with the sacrifice of his son is a lesson for all of us. What is it?
That is true obedience: doing as God says, even when we don’t have all the details—and even when God’s instructions don’t make sense. Is there a situation like that in your life right now?
Abraham, amazingly, obeyed God. But the question is, “Why?” Was he just morally good-natured? No. We’ve already seen what kind of a sinner he was. So how does a sinner like Abraham come to a place where he is able to obey God so steadfastly in such a difficult situation? By faith! By believing that God, not Abraham, knows best!
Abraham believed God would do what he said he would do. And when hope seemed lost, Abraham thought deeper and deeper about the God he served until his hope was restored.
Do you have that kind of faith in God?
Let’s move to :
Genesis 22:11–14 ESV
11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Draw a comparison to Verse 12 and . What is it?
James 2:17 ESV
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
22:12 now I know that you fear God. Abraham’s action confirms his faithful obedience to God. While Abraham’s faith was earlier the means by which God counted him as righteous (15:6), that faith is now “active along with his works,” and the faith is “completed by his works” (), so that his faith resulted in obedience, which is its expected outcome. On God’s knowledge, see note on .
22:13 behind him was a ram. Although Abraham has passed the test, God provides a ram so that it may be sacrificed as a burnt offering. In Genesis such sacrifices are associated with solemn promises made by God (see 8:20–22). instead of his son. The fact that a ram died in the place of Isaac has led many Christian interpreters to see introduced here the principle of substitutionary atonement, which would later become a reality in the substitutionary sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” ().
22:14 Echoing Abraham’s earlier comment to Isaac in v. 8, the location is named The Lord will provide. On the basis of this, the belief developed (as it is said to this day) that God would provide the sacrifice necessary to atone for sin. the mount of the Lord. This probably denotes the hill on which the temple was later built in Jerusalem (see ). “The mount of the Lord” is Mount Moriah and this very mountain, where these events occurred, would later become the temple mount. The offering on Mount Moriah is a vivid “shadow” of God the Father’s “provision” of the one and only sacrifice that could ever take away sin: the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus the Messiah, the “seed” of Abraham

Takeaway from this Lesson

God’s severe testings in your life are not merely meant to test and prove your faith, but also to give you a chance, through your obedience, to test and prove His faithfulness. And God always passes the test. There is always a ram in the thicket! And so Abraham named that mountain Jehoveh-Jireh, “The Lord Will Provide.”
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