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GENUINE FAITH

  • Genesis 22:3-8 ~ I had to read this passage several times before I saw Abraham's clearly implied statement of faith. His words and his demeanor are so understated, so matter-of-fact, that it's easy to miss the drama of this scene. If I were about to sacrifice my only son, who embodied all the promises that God had ever made to me, I would have been overcome with emotion. "I don't understand why God is making me do this, but I will do as He says. So I'm going up that mountain to sacrifice my son on that altar, then I'm going home to mourn this terrible loss for the rest of my life!" 

    According to the book of Hebrews, Abraham knew three important facts. First, Isaac was to be the vehicle of God's promises; therefore, Isaac must live. Second, God always keeps His promises. Third, God's power is absolute, even over the power of death. The only logical conclusion that remained was that somehow, against all natural reason, after killing Isaac and allowing the fire to completely consume him, God would miraculously restore the life of Isaac—the boy he dearly loved.  (Hebrews 11:8-19).

    Obviously, Abraham didn't tell Isaac everything he knew about what was to happen on the mountain. We can't be sure why he withheld that information. Maybe to spare his son unnecessary fear or dread. We don't know. But I do know that when God does a transforming work in you that involves a trial, He's not testing other people; He's testing you. Because this experience is designed for you, it isn't necessarily required or even appropriate for you to share the whole story with everyone else. Or, for that matter, with anyone else. Occasionally, strength is mustered in keeping it to ourselves . . . completely.

    Isaac finally asked the obvious question. They have a knife, wood, and fire for the sacrifice. "Where is the sacrifice?" I love Abraham's answer. "God will provide." The Hebrew uses an idiom that sounds just like something a dad would say today. "The Lord will see to that for Himself, son." Can you hear his calm, reassuring tone? "God will provide for Himself. That's up to Him. We're doing His will. It's up to Him to work out the details He didn't give to us. Our responsibility is to trust Him. This is a risk we will share together."

    Genesis 22:3-8 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. 5Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” 6Abraham 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 the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.


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Pastor Marty Pena
Pastor Marty Pena Pastor Todd, I have often studied this passage and pondered on it. I cannot imagine being put to that test. But, as you said, Abraham chose to trust and put everything in God's hands! He surely received His promotion after his biggest test! God will never let us down when we are put to huge tests! I know in my life He has always been there to hold my hand and walked right beside me, carried me, but I trusted HIM through the many many trials. Will until I die. Thank you, Pastor todd, I am humbled. Shalom.
February 1, 2017
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Great article Marty. That had to be a tough decision for Abraham, but he chose to trust in the invisible and put it in God's hands, and He will never let you down. 

February 1, 2017