Lord Jesus Christ, You are my amazing grace. I will serve You today with renewed dedication.
Read GENESIS 22:9–19
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God still delights in providing for his people. Whatever our needs, he will meet them through his love and grace.
Genesis 22 is the last recorded dialogue between God and Abraham. In verse 1, God spoke to Abraham by name and Abraham responded, “Here I am.” Since then, he has been on a three-day journey of obedience which has proved that he fears God (fearing God involves obedience to him). This is indicated in verse 11, where God urgently calls him twice by name and Abraham responds as formerly, “Here I am.” Testing and fearing go together in the Old Testament (actions and responses involved with “fearing” God are similar to those of responding in “faith” in the New Testament). Testing may be explained in terms of a metalwork analogy. To extract pure metal, the metal mixture needs to be heated intensely. Human lives are a mixture of the pure and impure, and the fires of testing separate out the pure, though the process may be costly and demanding. The purer form is one that can bring more glory to God and blessing to others, as was the case with Abraham.
God, it seems from verses 15–18, is delighted with the outcome, for the language in which the covenant is reiterated is effusive and emphatic. Here we see a response akin to a spouse who delights in being told that they are loved (even though they know they are). In fact, Abraham is referred to as being God’s friend in Isaiah, Chronicles and James (Isa. 41:8; 2 Chron. 20:7; James 2:23). Of course, the story also serves as a metaphor. Abraham is willing to give his only son, but a substitute in the shape of a ram is provided at the last moment. God is willing to give up his only son, but there is no substitute for Jesus. Instead, Jesus is the substitution for us.
When have you obeyed and found a new reassurance? Where do you find the strength to say yes to God when everything inside of you cries out no?
Lord, sometimes I need a special provision from You to trust and obey. Help me to grasp all that Your future holds for me.
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