Abraham's Tested Quality of Faith.
Did you get a chance to read this chapter? Understanding Abraham's faith will help us to develop that same kind of faith in our own lives. And what can we learn about Isaac's submissive and obedient attitude?
Jehovah says to Abraham: "Take please, your son. Your only son whom you so love, Isaac, and make a trip to the land of Moriah and there offer him up as a burnt offering." Gen 22:1 2) Abraham did not linger but in the morning began the 3-day journey to the place Jehovah selected. (Gen 22:3-4)
Abraham had strong faith, but what did he base his faith on? Remember the unusual circumstances in which Isaac was born, both his father and his mother were old, his mother already past child bearing years. (Gen 18:11) Abraham knew that Jehovah could rejuvenate a woman's ability to produce a child, and it was through Isaac that his descendants would develop into a great nation. (Gen 21:12) This must have seemed to be quite a contradiction when Jehovah told Abraham, as a test of his faith, to sacrifice his son Isaac. "Because of the promise of God (Abraham) did not waver in a lack of faith, ...being fully convinced that what (God) had promised he was also able to do." -Romans 4:20 Abraham trusted Jehovah to keep his promises.
When Abraham reaches the place selected by God, notice his words to his servants. "You stay here with the ass, but I and the boy want to go on over there and worship and return to you." -Gen 22:5. Abraham then places the wood needed for the burnt offering upon Isaac and they continue to the designated site. "But where is the sheep for the burnt offering?" Isaac asks. "God will provide himself the sheep" was the answer. -Gen 22:3-8, 14
Reaching the place, they built an altar and laid the wood in place. Then Isaac was bound hand and foot and put atop the wood. As Abraham raised the knife, Jehovah's angel stopped him. Abraham's faith had not been misplaced; Jehovah provided a ram, there caught in the thicket, that could be offered up for a burnt offering in the place of Isaac.- Gen 22:9-14 Yes, Abraham reasoned "that God was able to raise him up even from the dead," and "in an illustrative way" he did receive Isaac back from the dead. (Please compare: Hebrews 11:17-19)
This dramatic episode proved the faith and obedience not only of Abraham but also of his son Isaac. According to Jewish tradition, recorded by Josephus, Issac was 25 years old at this time. He was definitely old enough and strong enough to carry a considerable amount of wood up a mountain. He could have resisted his 125-year old father when the time came to bind him if he had chosen to be rebellious against Jehovah's commandments. Instead, Isaac submissively let his father offer him as a sacrifice in harmony with God's will.
A great prophetic picture was enacted, portraying how Christ Jesus, the Greater Isaac, would in due time willingly lay down his human life as the Lamb of God for mankind's salvation. This also pictures how Jehovah gave his "only-begotten son" for the benefit of all obedient mankind.
Abraham was rewarded for his faith! God told Abraham: "By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice." -Gen 22:18. How? The King of God's heavenly Kingdom would come through Abraham's line of descent. Abraham possessed only limited knowledge of the Kingdom, yet he trusted God and looked forward to its establishment. -Hebrews 11:10.
May we too develop faith as strong as Abraham's. Not a blind faith, but a strong faith based on God's promises and His past actions or demonstrations. (Compare Hebrews 11:1)