Abraham accepted God’s word as truth.
The relationship that Abraham enjoyed with God is one of the deepest and most precious of all in the Bible, next to that of Jesus.
His relationship was based in faith, a willingness to accept God’s word as truth, even when circumstances dictated otherwise. The blood line descendants of Abraham inherited his covenant with God. Circumcision was the physical sign that God gave to them as heirs. They would later become known as the Jews. However, Abram was offered God’s covenant before he was renamed and circumcised.
In the same manner, those who are not blood line descendants of Abraham (all of them, including you), are offered that same covenant promise because Abraham received the covenant by faith. All that is required to receive the same covenant promises is the same faith that Abraham modeled for us. He just believed God and because of his faith, he is described as the father of all believers in Romans 4:11-12.
11 It wasn’t until later on, after God had promised to bless him because of his faith, that he was circumcised. The circumcision ceremony was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him just and good in his sight-before the ceremony took place. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who believe and are saved without obeying Jewish laws. We see, then, that those who do not keep these rules are justified by God through faith.
12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those Jews who have been circumcised. They can see from his example that it is not this ceremony that saves them, for Abraham found favor with God by faith alone before he was circumcised.
God instructed Abraham to bring his only son, Isaac, to an altar for sacrifice. What an incredible request to make! This is exactly what God asked of him in Genesis 22:1-2. However, God had a mysterious purpose in His request.
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham. And he said, Here am I.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah. And offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Abraham’s response to God’s faith challenge proved his faith. Further study of this account reveals even more astounding information and a testimony of faith. Think about this. Abraham was instructed to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. This meant that Abraham was to kill his only son, the son of promise, then place him on an altar, light a fire and burn him to a crisp! Examine the activities described in the following narrative of Genesis 22:3-8.
3 And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. And he clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. And they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father. And he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son. 8 So they went both of them together.
Abraham obediently gathered everything necessary to accomplish the task. He brought firewood, coals to start the fire, undoubtedly cords to bind and a knife to kill the sacrifice. Isaac was given the task of carrying the wood that would be used to offer him as the burnt offering. Does that sound like anyone else you have heard of? Jesus was forced to carry the wood for the cross on which he would die!
Not only was Isaac carrying one of the instruments of his death as Jesus did, he asked a question similar to one asked by Jesus. Jesus asked God if there was another way. Isaac questioned his father as to the source of the sacrifice (Genesis 22:7). He did not know that it was him!
It was a custom of Abraham to offer sacrifices to God, a lamb being the most likely candidate. Abraham responded to Isaac in a peculiar manner considering the command that he received from God. Abraham said, “God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering…”.
That statement has very deep and faith-related prophetic overtones.
To learn more about the Character and Nature of the God of the Bible: