Testing of Abraham Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: December 2, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 22:1–22:19

  • Genesis 22:1-19
  • The Testing of Abraham
  • Genesis 22:1-4

1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.

  • Genesis 22:5-8

5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

  • Genesis 22:9-10

9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.

  • Genesis 22:11-14

11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

  • Genesis 22:15-19

15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

  • Main Point
  • Abraham like Job had been blessed…but what if God took it away?
  • Would Abraham remain faithful?
  • Abraham does remain faithful, and God intercedes on Isaac’s behalf
  • Abraham’s obedience and faithfulness is affirmed, as well as God’s provision
  • The covenant promises are reaffirmed, and all who went on the journey return home together
  • Application Points
  • Sometimes in Darkness
  • There are times we can think, “Meh, it wasn’t so bad!”
  • They were commanded to follow faithfully even in these places
  • Abraham and Isaac on the mountain is a reminder of this
  • Do any of us believe this is the road Abraham would have chosen?
  • Not likely
  • God doesn’t always take us down the cheerful and colorful road
  • Sometimes, God calls us out of comfort zones, into possible pain, for a particular purpose
  • Application Points
  • Sometimes in Darkness (2)
  • How can our loving God allow us to go through such painful ordeals?
  • Why did God allow the fall to take place?
  • Why does God allow us to go through anything?
  • We learn far more about God through our combined sorrows and joys than we could in any other way
  • God, being all-knowing, knows what’s best
  • While Abraham was the one tested, all the world receives the blessing
  • Is it possible that by going through darkness we might come out the other side far brighter than the side we had gone into it?
  • Application Points
  • Sometimes in Darkness (3)
  • So many times we’re told God wants what’s best for us
  • We can’t shake the idea that to be loved by God means pure happiness
  • What about those in foreign countries who are dying as martyrs?
  • What about those women who are tortured in prison for the sake of Christ?
  • Are they faithless that they do not get the pure happiness?
  • Sometimes we are to go through such trials and tribulations for the glory of God

“34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

-Matthew 10:34-39

  • Application Points
  • Sometimes in Darkness (3)
  • Consider how this almost parallels what we find with Abraham
  • Abraham, so clearly, loving son or daughter
  • Isaac, carrying the wood, his cross, which would fuel for the fire
  • Christ never promised us an easy life
  • Salvation and intercession do not necessarily mean from the trial per se…Abraham still had to walk up the mountain…still had to offer his son…
  • Some might say, “My suffering is just suffering.”
  • If it is for the glory of God, then it is for Jesus
  • Our responsibility is to remain faithful and obedient even in these times
  • Application Points
  • Sometimes in Darkness (4)
  • We need to change our rhetoric
  • Suffering is a guarantee in a world where the fall has taken places
  • It’s alright to hurt, it’s alright to struggle, it’s alright to have a hard time breathing
  • Dark paths are not going to be uncommon
  • If that is the case, let us cling to this faith which we have been given
  • It is this faith which will lead us to the other side
  • Application Points
  • God Provides
  • If we were to leave it there it would be a bleak picture
  • There are Christians who suffer for years, suffering now, who go to the point of death
  • These things are true, but we also know how God provides
  • They do not die in vain, nor is their suffering in vain
  • First: God provided for Abraham previously
  • Because Abraham has had experiences with God it means He knows God
  • While it may be a dark road, Abraham is willing to follow the voice of God because He knows the voice
  • Abraham has faith because he knows God
  • Application Points
  • God Provides (2)
  • So we can look back on our own experiences and see how God has fulfilled so many promises and blessings
  • It isn’t so blind as we think, it is dark, but there is a voice, and that voice is familiar to us
  • Second: God did call Abraham to walk in darkness, was it worth it?
  • Yes because both he and the world received blessing from it
  • If in our sorrow and pain we can bring blessing to others, and receive blessings, is it worth it?
  • If God can be most glorified through our suffering, is it worth it?
  • We can trust that God would not lead us down these paths without His glory in mind…as such we can find joy in the sorrow because God’s glory is good
  • Application Points
  • God Provides (3)
  • When Christ says, “take up your cross” we remember it means be obedient to Christ regardless of the situation
  • It means obedience even in dark times, faith in dark times, just as in good times
  • We are called to follow Him with our lives no matter where the road leads
  • Third: Abraham and Isaac are spared…there was intercession/provision
  • Through Christ we have eternal life, eternal love, eternal blessing
  • Application Points
  • God Provides (4)
  • When we remember Christ died not so that we could have our greatest conceivable happiness now but to have life and life abundantly, then it can remind us the best is yet to come
  • We can be sure because God exists
  • He has spoken through His Son
  • Christ is asking us to place our faith in Him, because He has done it by Himself
  • Christ has succeeded, He is the great Intercessor
  • We are Abraham, Christ is the voice we follow
  • We are Isaac, Christ is the ram
  • Abraham’s joy is complete in faithfulness and obedience
  • Isaac is given life, as the ram takes his place
  • Application Points
  • God Provides (5)
  • This narrative reminds us of ourselves
  • The hope we have in Christ
  • Through Him we have limitless blessing, an eternal inheritance, an everlasting life
  • We learn to hear His voice, and know that He will lead us on paths of truth and love forever
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Origins
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Glorification