August 14, 2016
Lessons from the Desert: Isaac
We conclude our series on the life of Abraham, Lessons from the Desert, with this message on the sacrifice of Isaac. This famous story is found in Genesis 22. It is the story of God testing Abraham, making certain that the patriarch believed in him. It is a difficult story, but one in which we can see great redemption.
Abraham’s faith overcame his doubt and confusion. God’s command to offer Isaac, the long-promised son through Sarah, was difficult to understand. How could God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son? In Hebrews 11:17-19, we are told that Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead. So even if Abraham had to go through with the sacrifice, he believed that God was powerful enough to bring his son back to him. The strength of Abraham’s faith was in God, not himself.
Abraham’s faith was proven by his good works. He obeyed God, and would have followed through with the sacrifice, but God stayed his hand and revealed a ram caught in a nearby thicket. God did not want Isaac to be sacrificed, he wanted Abraham to demonstrate the depth of his faith. But if God’s request to Abraham seems offensive or outrageous, let us remember that he did not withhold his own Son as a sacrifice for our sins.