Gen. 22:9 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.
By Richard Lodwick
Let me urge you to read this whole chapter. We cannot do this study and not cover this passage. It is a direct, O.T. reference to the sacrifice of God’s own Son in the N.T. It is perhaps the single most powerful passage on obedience in the Bible. Too, Isaac is a typology of Jesus, in that he was Abraham’s only son and Abraham was told to sacrifice him on an altar. We could take off on this point but that will be later. Look at the obedience factor here, attached to the act of worship at an altar here.
God was against human sacrifice. that’s clear in all the Bible, but here He tells Abraham to do just that! Why? It is a test of faith.. and obedience. Studying prior events we see Abraham journeying in the land of the Philistines, and calling on the name of the LORD, and being obedient all along the way. But here, he is called to slay his only son, given to Him by the God Who is now telling him to kill him as a sacrifice, and that is one giant test of obedience and sacrifice. After all the other exercises he had had, all the hardships and difficulties he had gone through. Now, perhaps, he was beginning to think the storms had all blown over; but, after all, this encounter comes, which is sharper than any yet. O, that we would see that, as Paul said in Php. 3, we have not yet arrived at the end of our faith growth. Neither had Abraham! What is it that means more to you than anything else in this world? TV? Facebook? Some other form of social media/contact? Video games? Pleasure, treasure, or leisure? What is it? Would you be willing to sacrifice it to and for God.. in obedience, and reverence, and worship? Do I? THAT is the burning question here. Look at the obedience in detail here. Folks, this is sold out! Note here also…The author of the trial: God tempted him, not to draw him to sin, so Satan tempts, but to test his faith, that it might be found to praise, and honour, and glory, 1 Pet. 1:7. O, that honor thing! I too often honor ME, not God!
Note the wood is the fuel (prayer) for the fire that consumes the sacrifice! The sacrifice was exactly as God has specified. Abraham put everything in order as he was told and knew to do. Have we fuel for the fire? Have we built an altar? (Again, not a shrine where there is a false and empty worship of the shrine itself, but a Bible altar) Are we willing to sacrifice that which is of this world, that means the most to us, as far as perhaps worshiping it or letting it take us away from closeness to God? .. .. What would you be willing to lay on your altar, and sacrifice that of this world, for the God Who saved you? Now, to close, a phrase in 22:2, which may be the key here! “Whom thou lovest.” Where is OUR love? On or in what? ARE WE WILLING to put it on the altar.. to give ALL to the Lord? THAT is the burning question here. It calls all of us, even me! Wow!
All CBBI Mini-series are authored by Richard Lodwick.