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5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
Everthing begins with worship
12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,
16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—
17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
Be Obedient 3. Depend on God’s Provision (Gen. 22:6–14)

3. Depend on God’s provision (Gen. 22:6–14)

Two statements reveal the emphasis of this passage: “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8); and “Jehovah-jireh” (22:14), which means, “The Lord will see to it,” that is, “The Lord will provide.” As he climbed Mount Moriah with his son, Abraham was confident that God would meet every need.

On what could Abraham depend? He certainly could not depend on his feelings, for there must have been terrible pain within as he contemplated slaying his son on the altar. He loved his only son, but he also loved his God and wanted to obey Him.

Nor could Abraham depend on other people. Sarah was at home, and the two servants who accompanied him were back at the camp. We thank God for friends and family members who can help us carry our burdens, but there are some trials in life that we must face alone. It is only then that we can see what our Father really can do for us!

Abraham could depend on the promise and provision of the Lord. He had already experienced the resurrection power of God in his own body (Rom. 4:19–21), so he knew that God could raise Isaac from the dead if that was His plan. Apparently no resurrections had taken place before that time, so Abraham was exercising great faith in God.

According to Ephesians 1:19–20 and 3:20–21, believers today have Christ’s resurrection power available in their own bodies as they yield to the Spirit of God. We can know “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10) as we face the daily demands and trials of life. When the situation appears to be hopeless, ask yourself, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14) and remind yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13, NKJV).

God did provide the sacrifice that was needed, and a ram took Isaac’s place on the altar (Gen. 22:13). Abraham discovered a new name for God—“Jehovah-jireh”—which can be translated “The Lord will see to it” or “The Lord will be seen.” The statement “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen” helps us understand some truths about the provision of the Lord.

Where does the Lord provide our needs? In the place of His assignment. Abraham was at the right place, so God could meet his needs. We have no right to expect the provision of God if we are not in the will of God.

When does God meet our needs? Just when we have the need and not a minute before. When you bring your requests to the throne of grace, God answers with mercy and grace “in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Sometimes it looks like God waits until the last minute to send help, but that is only from our human point of view. God is never late.

How does God provide for us? In ways that are usually quite natural. God did not send an angel with a sacrifice; He simply allowed a ram to get caught in a bush at a time when Abraham needed it and in a place where Abraham could get his hands on it. All Abraham needed was one animal, so God did not send a whole flock of sheep.

To whom does God give His provision? To those who trust Him and obey His instructions. When we are doing the will of God, we have the right to expect the provision of God. A deacon in the first church I pastored used to remind us, “When God’s work is done in God’s way, it will not lack God’s support.” God is not obligated to bless my ideas or projects, but He is obligated to support His work if it is done in His way.

Why does God provide our every need? For the great glory of His name! “Hallowed be Thy name” is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9–13), and it governs all the other requests. God was glorified on Mount Moriah because Abraham and Isaac did the will of the Lord and glorified Jesus Christ. We must pause to consider this important truth.

4. Seek to glorify Christ

In times of testing, it is easy to think only about our needs and our burdens; instead, we should be focusing on bringing glory to Jesus Christ. We find ourselves asking “How can I get out of this?” instead of “What can I get out of this that will honor the Lord?” We sometimes waste our sufferings by neglecting or ignoring opportunities to reveal Jesus Christ to others who are watching us go through the furnace.

If ever two suffering people revealed Jesus Christ, it was Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. Their experience is a picture of the Father and the Son and the cross and is one of the most beautiful types of Christ found anywhere in the Old Testament. Jesus said to the Jews, “Your father, Abraham, rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56). In Isaac’s miraculous birth, Abraham saw the day of Christ’s birth; and in Isaac’s marriage (Gen. 24), he saw the day of Christ’s coming for His bride. But on Mount Moriah, when Isaac willingly put himself on the altar, Abraham saw the day of Christ’s death and resurrection. Several truths about the atonement are seen in this event.

The Father and Son acted together. The touching phrase “they went both of them together” is found twice in the narrative (22:6, 8). In our evangelistic witness, we often emphasize the Father’s love for lost sinners (John 3:16) and the Son’s love for those for whom He died (1 John 3:16), but we fail to mention that the Father and the Son love each other. Jesus Christ is the Father’s “beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17), and the Son said, “But that the world may know that I love the Father” (John 14:31). Abraham did not withhold his son (Gen. 22:16), and the Father did not spare His Son but “delivered Him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32).

The Son had to die. Abraham carried a knife and a torch, both of them instruments of death. The knife would end Isaac’s physical life, and the fire would burn the wood on the altar where his body lay. In Isaac’s case, a substitute died for him; but nobody could take the place of Jesus on the cross. He was the only sacrifice that could finally and completely take away the sins of the world. God provided a ram, but Isaac had asked about a lamb. The answer to the question, “Where is the lamb?” was given by John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

In the Bible, fire often symbolizes the holiness of God (Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29). The cross was the physical instrument of death; but at Calvary, Jesus experienced much more than death. He experienced the judgment of God for the sins of the world. Isaac felt neither the knife nor the fire, but Jesus felt both. Isaac’s loving father was right there, but Jesus was forsaken by His Father when He became sin for us (Matt. 27:45–46; 2 Cor. 5:21). What marvelous love!

The Son bore the burden of sin. It is interesting that the wood is mentioned five times in the narrative and that Isaac did not start carrying the wood until he arrived at Mount Moriah. The wood is not a picture of the cross, for Jesus did not carry His cross all the way to Calvary. The wood seems to picture the burden of sin that Jesus bore for us (1 Peter 2:24). Abraham took the wood and “laid it upon Isaac his son” (Gen. 22:6), and “the Lord hath laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). The fire consumed the wood as a picture of the judgment of God against sin.

The Son was raised from the dead. Isaac did not actually die, but “in a figurative sense” (Heb. 11:19, NKJV) he died and was raised from the dead. Jesus, however, really died, was buried, and was triumphantly resurrected. It is interesting that Abraham returned to the two servants (Gen. 22:19), but nothing is said about Isaac. In fact, Isaac is not mentioned again until he is seen meeting his bride (24:62). While it is obvious that Isaac did return home with his father, the Bible type reminds us that the next event on God’s calendar is the return of Jesus Christ to claim His bride, the church.

The greatest thing that can happen as we experience the trials God sends is that we grow closer to our Father and become more like the Lord Jesus Christ. Calvary is not only the place where Jesus died for our sins, but it is also the place where He sanctified suffering and, by His resurrection, transformed suffering into glory. Seek to glorify the Lord, and He will do the rest.

Said Martin Luther: “Our suffering is not worthy [of] the name of suffering. When I consider my crosses, tribulations, and temptations, I shame myself almost to death, thinking what they are in comparison of the sufferings of my blessed Savior Christ Jesus.”

5. Look forward to what God has for you (Gen. 22:15–24)

There is always an “afterward” to the tests of life (Heb. 12:11; 1 Peter 5:10), because God never wastes suffering. “But He knoweth the way that I take; when He hath tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Abraham received several blessings from God because of his obedient faith.

To begin with, he received a new approval from God (Gen. 22:12). Abraham had described this whole difficult experience as “worship” (22:5) because, to him, that is what it was. He obeyed God’s will and sought to please God’s heart, and God commended him. It is worth it to go through trials if, at the end, the Father can say to us, “Well done!”

He received back a new son. Isaac and Abraham had been at the altar together, and Isaac was now a “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1–2). God gave Isaac to Abraham, and Abraham gave Isaac back to God. We must be careful that God’s gifts do not take the place of the Giver.

God gave Abraham new assurances (Gen. 22:16–18). He had heard these promises before, but now they took on fresh new meaning. Charles Spurgeon used to say that the promises of God never shine brighter than in the furnace of affliction. What two men did on a lonely altar would one day bring blessing to the whole world!

Abraham also learned a new name for God (22:14). As we have seen, Jehovah-jireh means “the Lord will be seen” or “the Lord will see to it [provide].” The Jewish temple was built on Mount Moriah (2 Chron. 3:1); and during our Lord’s earthly ministry, He was seen there. He was the true Lamb of God, provided by God to die for the sins of the world.

The founder of the China Inland Mission (now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship), J. Hudson Taylor, used to hang in his home a plaque with two Hebrew words on it: “Ebenezer” and “Jehovah-jireh.” They mean: “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” (1 Sam. 7:12) and “The Lord will see to it.” Whether he looked back or ahead, Hudson Taylor knew the Lord was at work, and he had nothing to fear.

When he arrived back home, Abraham heard another new name—Rebekah (Gen. 22:23)—the girl God was saving for Isaac. The roll call of the names of Abraham’s brother’s family could have discouraged a man with only one son, but Abraham did not fret. After all, he had God’s promise that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore! (22:17)

Finally, Abraham came away from this trial with a deeper love for the Lord. Jesus tells us about this deeper love in John 14:21–24, and Paul prays about it in Ephesians 3:14–21. Have you experienced it?

Miracle Series
I. Introduction
A. Our Lord’s First Miracle
1. Begins His public ministry
2. Fulfills a promise to Nathanael (1:49–51)
B. Details about the Wedding (v. 1)
1. The third day: probably from the calling of Nathanael
2. Cana: a short distance from Capernaum
3. Mary was there in some important capacity
II. Body
A. The Guests at the Wedding (vv. 1–2)
1. Jesus and His disciples invited
2. Some things we don’t know about the wedding
a. Don’t know who was getting married
b. Don’t know any details about them
3. Speculation concerning the marriage
a. Probably some relative of Mary or Joseph
b. Mary’s prominence indicates a family wedding
4. See how closely Jesus is associated with His disciples
a. An invitation to Jesus included His disciples
b. Others should know that Jesus goes where we go
B. The Good Advice Given at the Wedding (vv. 3–5)
1. A problem arises: they are out of wine
2. Weddings are great places for problems
3. Mary handles the problem
a. She takes the problem to Jesus
b. This is a good example for us when problems come
4. Mary’s good advice: “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it”
5. We should always be ready to do what Jesus wants us to do
6. What Jesus tells people to do …
a. Will always be in accordance with His Word (v. 4)
b. Will involve beginning were we are (v. 6)
c. Will involve using something at hand (v. 6)
d. Will involve labor (v. 7)
e. Will involve faith (v. 7)
f. Will demonstrate faith to others (v. 8)
C. The Good Wine at the Wedding (vv. 9–10)
1. At the first taste the Governor knew the difference:
2. “Thou hast kept the good wine until now”
3. Lessons in the miracle wine:
a. Only Jesus keeps the best until last
b. For believers, the best is yet to come
c. Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before
III. Conclusion
A. Invite Christ
B. Obey Christ
C. Enjoy Christ
Campbell, R. F. (1988–). Preach for a year (pp. 161–162). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications.
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