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Faith and the Sacrifice

by Skip Heitzig |
God tested Abraham's faith numerous times during his life, but the most severe test was when He told him to sacrifice his son in Genesis 22. The Lord had already promised Abraham that he would bless the world through him (Genesis 12:2-3), and "in Isaac your seed shall be called" (Genesis 21:12). But now He was telling Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.

As they were going to the place God led him, Abraham told his servants that he and Isaac would go and worship, "and we will come back to you" (Genesis 22:5). Those are the words of faith. If you read Hebrews 11, it says that Abraham believed God was able to raise his son from the dead. So when he said they would be back, he meant it.

There are several interesting things I want you to notice in this story. When Isaac said they didn't have the lamb for the burnt offering, Abraham said that the Lord Himself would provide the lamb. But notice that God provided not a lamb but a ram (Genesis 22:13). What Abraham spoke was prophetic.

The first time the word love is used in the Bible is here, and it is speaking of the love of a father for his son. And notice that God says "your only son." Abraham had another son, Ishmael. But this was the son of the promise, Isaac, whom he loved.

And the place where Abraham almost sacrificed his son was Mount Moriah. This is the same place where Solomon later built the temple. If you go to Jerusalem today you notice that Mount Moriah slopes upward, and its very peak is a place called Golgotha. That's where Abraham probably was, where he was about to sacrifice his son. When God stopped the sacrifice, Abraham called the place Jehovah-Jireh, or "the Lord will provide," "in the mountain of the lord it shall be seen" (v. 14).

Abraham said God will provide Himself a lamb. And when Jesus came on the scene, John the Baptist said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).

So on the very mountain where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac is where Jesus Christ was sacrificed for your sin by a Father in heaven who loved you enough to not restrain the death blow to His only begotten Son.

Our God is truly an awesome God!

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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