Why Did God Ask Abraham To Sacrifice Isaac [1]

Thursday 26th March 2020 Devotion

Scripture:- Genesis 22:1-24

Topic:- Why Did God Ask Abraham To Sacrifice Isaac [1]

Text:- Genesis 22:2

The Bible has many difficult passages for modern readers, but few are more challenging than the moment when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis 22.
This story causes us to ask a lot of troubling questions. What kind of God would ask for this? Is God commanding child sacrifice? Isn’t this request in conflict with everything else God seems to value?
We are in the middle of a series on difficult passages in the Bible. In part one, we looked at the flood. Now we jump ahead a few chapters in Genesis to consider the requested sacrifice of Isaac.
If the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus, then is Jesus connected to such a disturbing request? Is the God of love found anywhere in this passage? The good news is that the answer to both questions is, “Yes!” Let’s take a look.

A. Abraham’s Long-Awaited Son:
1. Genesis 1-11 tells the story of how God created all things and made humans in his image to rule on his behalf. However, the humans misuse their rule, and the world spins out of control into violence and death. This all leads up to the rebellion and scattering of the people from Babylon. See Genesis 11.
2. God calls a man named Abram, later known as Abraham, to launch his plan to rescue and bless the whole world through Abraham’s family. See Genesis 12.
3. But there’s a problem. Abraham is childless, and his wife is barren. Although this problem lurks in the background of Abraham’s story, God reaffirms his promise. One day, Abraham will have a son, and his descendants will be a great nation. And after decades of waiting, Isaac was born.
4. But the long wait for Isaac wasn’t Abraham’s true test. This comes in the very next chapter when God tells Abraham to take his beloved son and sacrifice him.
5. Abraham must have been confused. Why would God promise him a son and then take the son away? At best, it feels like a strange inconsistency. At worst, it’s an evil trick. What’s Really Going On Here?
6. When we look at the context of this story, we notice three things that lead us to greater understanding of this problematic passage in Genesis 22.

B. This Wasn’t Abraham’s First Experience with God:
1. God had already revealed himself to Abraham many times through Abraham’s successes and failures, his faith and fear, in promises and forgiveness.
2. Abraham knew the character of God. Once, he even asked God, “Will not the judge of all the earth do right?” After this encounter, perhaps Abraham settled this question in his mind once and for all. See Genesis 18:25.
3. Abraham obeyed God’s unexpected command because he trusted God’s promise and knew him to be good and trustworthy.

C. Abraham Didn’t Think Isaac Would Die:
1. When they reached the mountain, Abraham told his servant, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” The text is careful to include both Abraham and Isaac in the return journey. See Genesis 22:5.
2. Or consider Isaac’s question about where the lamb for the sacrifice would come from. Abraham responds, “God Himself will provide the lamb.” It seems Abraham prepared himself to do what God asked, but he expected something else to happen. See Genesis 22:8.
3. The author of the book of Hebrews gives us insight to Abraham’s thoughts. It says, “He considered that God was able even to raise [Isaac] from the dead.” Instead of a resurrection, Abraham was spared the sacrifice. See Hebrews 11:19.
4. When the Bible depicts violence, things are often not what they seem at first glance. A surface reading may hide a character’s motivations and intentions.
5. In other cases, referencing other points in the biblical tradition can shed light on difficult passages. This is certainly the case with our next point.

D. Prophetic Reenactment:
1. The story of Abraham and Isaac takes on a larger significance when you place it in the context of prophetic reenactment.
2. Throughout the Bible, God asked prophets to reenact in miniature things that he would do on a larger scale. The acts themselves seem strange until you see them as an acted out allegory.
3. Then you start asking different questions. When we read Genesis 22, we may think, “How could God have required this?” But when we view the story through the lens of prophetic reenactment, we can ask, “What did God intend for us to learn through this?”

Prayer Point:- Oh Lord God, help me to reciprocate Your love in truth henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Have A Glorious Thursday!

Pastor Timothy Ogundele-Jesu

Pastor Timothy Ogundele-Jesu

Pastor Tim Ogundele_Jesu is a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an apostle by the grace of God. He has been used by God prominently in the area of salvation, healing, blessing, and especially deliverance.

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