Just imagine the scene.
Isaac had carried the wood and knew that his father had a knife to slay a sacrificial animal.
They probably built the altar together as they worshiped God and prepared themselves to make the offering. Abraham told his son Isaac that God would provide the lamb for the sacrifice. Then, Abraham turned suddenly to Isaac with a cord of some sort and bound Isaac’s hands and feet. Remember, Isaac is a young adult and quite capable of putting up a significant defense against a 120 year old man. However, Isaac willingly submitted himself, as did Abraham, to the will of God. He allowed his father to bind him and place him on the wood atop the altar they had built together. We are talking some serious faith here on the part of both Abraham and Isaac!
Not only do we see the demonstration of Abraham’s faith as he went to make the sacrifice, but we also see the preparations that he made to do the deed. He told the servants that they would both return, thereby laying claim to the resurrection of his son, should his son actually die in the process. Then, he prophetically uttered that God would provide Himself (as) the Lamb for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:7). Isaac carried the wood on which he would be burned and willingly submitted to what must have inevitably seemed to be his death.
This demonstration and example of faith that Abraham (and Isaac) provided for us was also the act that legally allowed God to fulfill His plan of salvation for mankind through His ultimate sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God that Abraham told Isaac that God would provide. He is the substitutionary sacrifice for the penalty of our sins. He carried His own wooden cross upon which he would be hung to die. Moreover, He did it willingly. He submitted His will to that of His Father, God. The parallels are astounding, except that Jesus actually did give his life.
The faith and obedience of Abraham was rewarded because of his heart posture. He was willing to do what God had instructed, allowing God to bring His plan for man into the earth. The force of faith energized and permeated Abraham and his descendants, but faith also became available to anyone willing to adopt it and receive the grace or unmerited favor of God as we see in Romans 4:16.
Romans 4:16 (ERV)
So people get what God promised by having faith. This happens so that the promise can be a free gift. And if the promise is a free gift, then all of Abraham’s people will get that promise. The promise is not just for those who live under the Law of Moses. It is for all who live with faith as Abraham did. He is the father of us all.
Abraham is a multifaceted character study because of the many spiritual truths he lived and represented. One of the most important aspects of his life, however, was the fact that his action was a physical depiction of a spiritual achievement that God had planned from the beginning of creation. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and capable of doing anything that He desires. However, in this earth realm, He has chosen to limit Himself by the words of His own mouth as described in Numbers 23:19.
Numbers 23:19 (GWT)
God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He doesn’t change his mind. When he says something, he does it. When he makes a promise, he keeps it.
This verse is a pivotal one for our understanding of the relationship that God has established with us. He has declared that He will not change His mind.
If God were to go against His own word, He would become a liar, which He cannot be. Otherwise, the legal system that He put into place would be hypocritical and implode.
For more on this topic check out Chapter 13 of Ideolatry, “Abraham and the Covenant”.
You can explore this concept in more detail in Chapter 13 “Abraham and the Covenant” in my book “Ideolatry – God Is Not Your Problem,” now also available in digital formats for Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Generic eReaders.
Jesus will set you free if you let Him !
I hope my blog posts help you grow in your faith and Biblical understanding. I would like to invite you on a journey of further spiritual growth by purchasing the Ideolatry Book and Study Guide. Together, these tools will give you a strong Biblical foundation when life is difficult to understand.
May the Lord bless you and keep you... Dr. Rich Masek
To learn more about this subject read,
Chapter 13, “Abraham and the Covenant"
In Ideolatry - God Is Not Your Problem, The Character and Nature of God, now also available in digital formats for Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Generic eReaders.
Now also available in digital formats for Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Generic eReaders
You can read about more subjects from Ideolatry below.