Sunday, March 05, 2006


Genesis 22


JANUARY 1, 2006

Good morning, and welcome to a new year. And welcome
to our continued study of Genesis, the book of
beginnings. Our study so far has taken us from the
events of Genesis 1, somewhere in the neighborhood of
2000 years. It was about 2000 years from the first
man, Adam to whom the promise of the Messiah was
given, to father Abraham and his son, Isaac. It will
be about 2000 more to the birth of Messiah and about
2000 more to our present day when we look forward
always to his return for his people.

It is natural on the first day of a new year to stop
and take stock of the last year’s accomplishments and
failures, to do an inventory, if you will, and decide
on our goals for the next 365 days. We sometimes call
these goals “resolutions”. We may decide that this is
the year we do something about our weight, make plans
to start an exercise regime. Or we have conviction
about something in our lives that needs to change for
us to have a closer walk with the Almighty. The world
approaches this in a cynical, somewhat sarcastic
fashion. Such is not the case with believers. Here
in this assembly where we practice the breaking of
bread weekly, we should be doing 52 resolutions a
year. We are told in Scripture to search our hearts
each time we approach the Lord’s Table and if there is
something there that does not conform to the image of
God to change it before we partake so me are not
eating and drinking condemnation.

It would be my assertion, that even once a week is not
enough. If you will forgive the old fashioned word,
it “behooves” us to take such an inventory at the end
of every day and make such changes as necessary to
walk in his steps. I believe this concept of daily
inventory, and daily surrender to God’s will is the
secret to maintaining a victorious life for his glory.

As we return to the book of Genesis we will take up
the story where we left off. Last time, you will
remember we saw the birth of Isaac, the continuation
of the seed of promise. We saw Hagar and Ishmael cast
out and God’s provision for them. We saw Abraham and
Abimelech solve their territory issues and Abraham
develop a new name for God, “El Olam”, the everlasting

Now we come to one of the most powerful chapters in
all of scripture, the 22nd chapter of Genesis.
MacDonald says of this passage: “Perhaps no scene in
the Bible except Calvary itself is more poignant than
this one, and none gives a clearer foreshadowing of
the death of God’s only, well-beloved Son on the

Let’s read through the chapter.

Genesis 22. Read.

We are once again treading lightly where liberal
critics love to trample. This passage on a quick
reading seems to indicate that God approves of human
sacrifice. Not so. He has always abhorred it. And
not without reason. There was only in history to be
one such sacrifice, that of his son. Any other human
sacrifice was not only murder but an attempt to usurp
God’s power. This of course, is the real reason that
pagans have always wanted to practice it. It is the
most despicable example of the enemy saying, “I will
be as the most high.” What we see in this chapter is
God trying Abraham in the furnace to see if he is the
true metal. I’ve shared with you in the past that I
sometimes mold things from pure lead. But I start
with contaminated lead, usually old wheel weights or
car battery lead or old plumbing lead. It is gray and
dirty, but as my furnace heats it hotter and hotter,
it turns a shiny silver color and the impurities or
“dross” float to the top and I cast it aside. In
chapter 22 we will watch Abraham become the true

Genesis 22:1. Read.

Various translations of this verse for the word
“tempt” render it instead “try”, “prove”, or “test”
and more verses later will bear this out. Abraham
does not flee God as Jonah will some day or hide from
him as Adam did, but stands firm before him and says,
“Here I am.” The word “Behold” makes it an emphatic

Genesis 22:2. Read.

So where is this “land of Moriah”? It is a mountain
range, the one where Jerusalem will one day stand.

2 Chronicles 3:1. Read.

So we are talking a very important spot in history
indeed. Notice God’s double reminder of Isaac’s
status as Abraham’s ONLY true son. No room is left
for doubt either of who Isaac is or Ishmael is not.
God also emphasizes that he LOVES his son. This verse
reminds me of our Lord questioning Peter by the sea.
“Do you love me more than these?” We should also
notice that God is giving his servant only the general
direction and that as he gets closer to the goal, more
will be revealed. There is a lesson in this for each
of us. We often pray for God’s guidance, wanting
exact directions street by street, turn by turn. This
is a reminder that God does not usually work that way.
We already have his general direction. We hold it
right here in our hands. Following his word will get
us on the right road to his final goal for us and as
we take the action of walking toward it, he will show
us, as he promises Abraham here.

Genesis 22:3. Read.

Abraham, cut to the quick by what he must do, does not
dawdle. He is up early, and has the wood cut and is
ready to go, though it’s the last thing he wants to

Genesis 22:4. Read.

This was not a short journey. For three days they
walked on. Every step took Abraham closer to where
the worst that he could imagine would happen. Yet he
never faltered.

Genesis 22:5. Read.

This is a powerful verse and it teaches some powerful
lessons. I will quote again from MacDonald: “The
first occurrence of a word in the Bible often sets the
pattern for its usage throughout Scripture. LOVE (v.2)
and WORSHIP (v.5) are first found here. Abraham’s
LOVE for his son is a faint picture of God’s love for
the Lord Jesus. The sacrifice of Isaac was a picture
of the greatest act of worship – the Savior’s
self-sacrifice to accomplish the will of God.”

Please remember that like Jesus, Isaac was the son of
promise, the unique son, the son of a miraculous

Most importantly, Abraham in faith tells the servants
that both of them will go worship and that both will
return. Was Abraham lying to cover up what he was
about to do? Absolutely not! Abraham believed in
resurrection. He believed that once sacrificed, Isaac
would be raised from the dead and return with him. So
great was his faith.

Genesis 22:6. Read.

The mountain top was still far off, remember and
Abraham was old, so one to be sacrificed bore the
burden. Today when you have time at home, look up the
passages of Jesus in the garden before his betrayal.
Was he bearing other’s burdens? Of course he was.
And did Christ have to carry the cross, the means of
his own sacrifice? Yes he did.

How did Abraham take fire in his hand? I’m assuming
there were no butane lighters then. One of the
paraphrases states he took “flint” in his hand and he
was certainly capable of starting a fire with a flint.
It is also possible that he had the servants who were
to wait, build a cooking fire and carried a torch from
that. Or a lantern. Or a hot coal in a container.
But somehow, in his hand he carried a means of
lighting a fire.

Genesis 22:7. Read.

The first time I heard this story, I thought that
Isaac was just a little dense. He’s been walking
along here for 3 days without a lamb and he’s finally
figured this out? But we won’t be too rough on him.
For one thing, the boy had absolute faith in his
father’s love. For another he may have, up until this
point, assumed Abraham would purchase a lamb for
sacrifice as they got closer to their destination.

Genesis 22:8. Read.

There is some controversy about this verse. Some
commentators state that Abraham was fully convinced he
would have to slay his son and that he saw Isaac as
the lamb that would be provided. Others believe that
as God had revealed the final destination to Abraham
as the journey progressed, he had also revealed to him
what would happen.

Genesis 22:9. Read.

Col. Scofield has done an excellent job of commenting
on the “types” revealed here. I will read his notes
on this.

Footnote: 1. Read.

Genesis 22:10. Read

Abraham was faithful to the last. When the time came
to make the fateful decision, he did not hesitate.
His love and obedience to God went even past his love
for his only son.

Genesis 22:11. Read.

Most conservative theologians believe this is a
“Christophany”, a pre-incarnate appearance of our Lord
himself. The one who would one day be the actual
sacrifice, speaking up to ensure that it would be him
and not this boy who would someday die. The
commentators point out to us that 10 times in
scripture there are name duplications used like this.
Seven are spoken from God to man. In each case they
are indicative of great emphasis of the importance of
what is about to be said.

Genesis 22:12. Read.

Here we have the proof that Abraham passed the test.
He is the true metal. His love for God is even
greater than the love for his son, his only son.
Something more is said here. God tells him “thou hast
not withheld thine only son from me.” We sometimes
want to withhold our children from God. I wonder how
many that God would have had been missionaries or
serve him in other ways were deflected from the path
the Father intended by parents who were not willing
that God should have them. Only eternity will tell.

Genesis 22:13. Read.

Here is the example of the substitutionary death of
our Lord. It is also the miraculous fulfillment of
the prophesy that Abraham made earlier to Isaac.

Genesis 22:14. Read.

It will not surprise you, I’m sure to find that
liberal scholars have claimed mixed authorship for the
book of Genesis. One of their “proofs” is that in the
early part of Genesis, God is called “Elohim” and in
others “Jehovah”. But this passage totally disproves
that assumption. I will show you why. Go back to
verse 8. It says, “my son, God will provide.” That
is – “Elohim – jireh”. Now in verse 14, the same
author by obvious literary style says – “Jehovah –
jireh”, showing both Elohim and Jehovah being used
concurrently with the same meaning.

There are six other compound names for God in the Old

Jehovah – Rophekha – “The Lord who heals you”. Ex.

Jehovah – Nissi – “The Lord my banner”. Ex. 17:8-15.

Jehovah – Shalom – “The Lord our peace”. Judges 6:24

Jehovah – Roi – “The Lord my shepherd”. Psalms 23:1.

Jehovah – Tsidkenu – “The Lord our righteousness.”
Jer. 23:6.

Jehovah – Shammah – “The Lord is present.” Ezek.

The last part of the verse shows us that it continued
to be seen on that mount. David would one day begin
the great temple there that Solomon would build and
the temple mount remains the focus of the world to
this day.

Genesis 22:15, 16. Read.

Now another Christophany has occurred and this time we
see the curious statement, “by myself have I sworn.”

Hebrews 6:17. Read.

If we were to take an oath, we would say something
like, “so help me, God”. There is nothing greater
that we could swear by. And because there is nothing
greater than God, he swears by himself.

Genesis 22:17-19. Read.

With Abraham having passed the test and having been
proven, or tried, the promise is repeated.

Genesis 22:20-24. Read.

Upon reading this, we might be tempted to ask, why on
earth is this included? God has a reason for every
word he has inspired. I quote from The New Bible

“The interest of the history now beings to transfer to
Isaac, and the details of this paragraph are given to
show the family from which Isaac’s wife was to come.
The name of HUZ or UZ and BUZ both appear again in the
book of Job. Rebekah was granddaughter to Nahor and
second cousin to Isaac.”

Today we repeated a feast at the personal invitation
of Almighty God. We broke bread as the body of our
Lord Jesus Christ was broken. We took of the cup as
his blood was poured out. It has been about 1996
years since that sacrifice that we symbolized. It had
been about that many years since the type of that
sacrifice was displayed as we have seen this morning.
It had been about that many since the promise made to
Adam. We await a promise also, that the one who was
sacrificed for us, will return for us. Upon that
return, the refiners fire will burn even more
brightly. Those who have surrendered their wills and
lives to the Lord Jesus Christ will join him in
paradise for eternity. Those who have not will be
cast into the place where, in the words of Christ
himself, “the flame is not quenched and the worm
ceaseth not to gnaw.” On this day when the whole
world takes inventory of their lives and resets their
goals for the coming year, each of us has to know in
our hearts whether our destination is paradise or the
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