We wrap up our sermon series on the life of Abraham this week as we look at God testing Abraham’s faith in Genesis 22. God has already delivered on His promise to give Abraham a son in Genesis 20, and 25 years of waiting have come to an end for Abraham and Sarah. Then, God asks the impossible of Abraham. He asks him to sacrifice his promised son. If this was Abram of the past, he might have tried to scheme his way out of this request. The one thing God has assuring Abraham of for decades was that he would provide a son, and now He’s asking for Abraham to sacrifice him?
The Faith of Abraham
We see how Abraham has transformed spiritually. He trusts in God’s promise and character and knows that God will provide a way, if he is obedient. He trusts that in God, all things are possible, even resurrection. Even if God allows Abraham to kill his son, he believes that God will bring him back to life. He responds in faith, and God lives up to His Name. Can we see the parallels to the Gospel? God the Father sacrificed His only Son, the Son He’d promised to redeem His people. God sacrificed His Son, and restored Him back to life! He upholds His promises, even when they seem impossible to us.
The Faith of Isaac
Abraham’s faith is what we remember from this story, but what about Isaac? We don’t know the exact ages of Abraham and Isaac in this passage, but most agree Isaac is at least 18. That means Abraham is at least 118. Isaac has got to know something is going on when he realizes they’re not bringing a lamb for the offering. When Abraham starts to bind him up to put on the altar, I’m sure he puts two and two together. Growing up, my dad and I would goof around and wrestle, and as a boy he’d beat me easily. As I grew into my teenage years, I surpassed my dad in height, and by time I graduated from high school, the scales had tipped in my favor. Abraham was well past the prime of his youth, and Isaac could’ve easily overpowered his dad. But there sure seems to be faith on his part as well. He believes his father when Abraham assures him that God will provide a sacrifice. Can we see the picture of Jesus here? Our Savior willingly laid down His life for us, no one forced Him. He could’ve easily overpowered those who nailed him to the cross, but He knew God was providing the sacrifice for us. And as God could’ve done with Isaac, God brings His Son back to life!
This is the God we serve. When we experience trials, when God tests our faith, we can respond as Abraham did. We can have faith knowing that God is true to His character and promises. Even when a situation is impossible, we can be obedient because we serve a God to whom nothing is impossible. And because of His Son, we know that our suffering on earth is fleeting; an eternity of joy and peace with our Savior awaits!