Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Abraham was an old man, a very old man. By the time Isaac, the child of promise, was born, he was a hundred years old. By the time of the events in Genesis 22, he is considerably older. God had shown himself to be the God of promise Isaac was born to an old man and his old wife. The child of promise showed that God’s promise was valid. But what was Abraham to do when, some years later, God told him to take his son and burn him as an offering?
This is the dilemma Abraham faced. How could the God of promise, the one who values life, the one who has made a child to Abraham bring the promise to life, command his servant to sacrifice the child of promise?
Notice that we don’t have any record of Abraham’s debate. We have no mention of his doubt or fear. There’s no indication that he questioned God. Rather, he received the word from God and set himself to obey that word. The closest we come to a commentary about Abraham’s attitude is that he says God will raise up a sacrifice for them when they reach the place of sacrifice. What did Abraham think Was he expecting a different sacrifice to show up? Maybe he expected the Lord to resurrect Isaac. We have no idea. All we see is that Abraham believed God and took Him at His word.
We learn also that Isaac was willing to be an obedient child to his father, no matter what. There’s record of a question, but not of any sort of conflict, even when it became clear to Isaac that he was to be the sacrifice. Isaac was also trusting God.
Even when it looked impossible, the Lord did raise up a substitute. He stopped the actions which would naturally lead to death and destruction. He brought a substitute, a ram who would die in the place of Isaac. He showed that He was able to fulfill his promise and yet show the importance of laying down one’s life for God. This all foreshadows the work of Jesus, the lamb of the tribe of Judah, who came and gave his life in death as a substitute for the promised people, Israel. God’s mercy could not be stopped. Regardless of all appearances of hopelessness and failure, God raised up an offering to die in the place of his people. He will always do whatever it takes to provide satisfaction for his righteous anger, showing the riches of his mercy and grace.
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