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GENESIS Chapter 22 - PICTURE PERFECT - Part 2
Last week we started seeing a picture of Jesus Christ in this portion of Scripture, and this week the picture continues. We discussed “Obedience” last week, and now we delve into the second part of this message picking it up in verse 6.
Vs. 6 - “Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,” (Are ya seeing this? Who carried the cross to the hill? It was laid on Jesus. And underline the word “Together,” we’ll see it again in vs. 8, it means “Unity” in the Hebrew.)
Vs. 7-8 - “Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.”
“God will provide for Himself the lamb.” This is interesting in the Hebrew because it can be translated in one of 2 acceptable fashions. This could be: “God will provide for himself the lamb.” It could also read: God will provide Himself the lamb which He did in Christ, whom John calls “the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world.”
And at the end of vs. 8, there’s that word “together” again.
And again notice he laid the wood ON Isaac, the wood he’s going to be laid on for the sacrifice, even as the cross that Christ was carrying would be the cross that he was nailed too for that sacrifice. God is laying this out in spectacular fashion!
Also, notice again, they went up “together.” So, the Christ type continues here. That word “Together,” again in the Hebrew, is “Unity.”
So, what is God telling us? Maybe that Isaac is not fighting with his father at all here. He is in agreement with what is about to happen, even as Christ was in agreement with the Father concerning what was going to happen at the cross.
Isaac is in unity, even as Christ was,Isaac is carrying the wood, even as Christ was, Isaac was the only son, even as Christ was,Isaac is the son of the promise, even as Christ was, And it gets better!
So, Isaac is in agreement, but he’s wondering where the lamb is, and God is going to provide it as Abraham’s answer. And now, we find ourselves in the hour of testing in vs. 9.
Vs. 9-14 - “When they reached the place God had told him (Underline that, and this is the second time we see this. They didn’t go half way, 3⁄4 of the way there... and it’s when they DID that they’re going to see the full provision of God on display!) about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Now, isn’t it interesting that God will go through with this with HIS Son? He’s not going to let Abraham go through with it with Isaac, but God will go all the way! But we CAN’T! I wan’t you to catch that too!) But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, (This doesn’t mean in the Hebrew that God is learning something. This means in the Hebrew “Now it is shown,” literally, “now it has been shown.”because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (“In place of his son” - The picture is God is providing an offering in place of humanity being judged, which is exactly what Christ did. God provided the Lamb of God to be judged that you and I would not be judged. Don’t miss this!) So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
King Jimmy says: “On the Mount of the Lord it will be seen.” If you're like me, until I studied this text, I thought Isaac was a young boy. But Jewish tradition records that Isaac was probably 30-33 years of age at this time. Interesting! How old was Jesus as the cross? Around 33. But the point is, he’s not a kid.
Abraham is about 130 now. Why am I bringing this up? Because Isaac could have easily overpowered his father! So we see another picture of Christ here that Isaac is a willing sacrifice, he’s submitting to the will of the father, just as Christ submitted to the will of the Father: “Nevertheless, not my will but your will, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Just wow! The foreshadowing of Christ in Isaac is just wild! He’s the only son,He’s the son of the promise,He’s the sacrifice, He’s carrying his wood... to Jerusalem... submitted to the father, He will be delivered from death on the third day. Are you seeing this? Our minds should be exploding again!! If this ain’t knocking your spiritual socks off, you gotta be dead!
A couple things about this. First, I want you to be sensitive to the love of God. God did not have to do this, to make the plan of salvation work. But He did in order to put on display His sovereignty, His control and how He had all things wired over thousands of years... and if God has all this wired to every last detail, you think somehow God can’t deal with our tiny life?
Secondly, this shows me the love of God. He didn’t have to do this, but He did it so that today I could unpack all of this and we could see... He did this for you and for me, so we could go: WOOOOOOWWWWW, UNREEEEAAAAL! I WANT MORE OF THE WORD OF GOD!!
Thirdly, recognize that Abraham had no clue how profound this event was! He had no idea this was a typology, that he was the father in this picture, that Isaac was the son... He had no idea what milage God would get out of this - That a justification by faith that is being demonstrated here and all of the doctrines that would come forth from and be tied around this doctrine here...
He had no idea that the Apostle Paul would spend at least 3 chapters, if not more, discussing the details of what went down here, and why, and what it means in applying that to the people throughout his day and throughout the ages...
My point is Abraham had no idea what God was doing here... And I want to encourage you - when you are obedient, even in the little things, you have NO IDEA what God is going to bring forth from that!
Now, notice that Abraham names the place there in vs. 14 after all this went down, and notice he names it “What God has done.” “What the Lord will provide.” The thing about Abraham throughout his life is: man he fumbled and messed up, and I’m glad he did because that makes me comfortable that God would use knuckleheads like me too...
But notice throughout Abraham’s life, as we’ve been seeing, that he NEVER takes credit! He never allows any of the attention to be place upon himself. Are ya catching this? He called the mountain “The Lord will provide,” He didn’t call it “Obedience Hill.” He didn’t call it: The Hill of Abe’s Great Testing.” He didn’t call it: “Look, I found a goat.” He keeps himself totally out of the picture and keeps the focus on God.
I think we need to be careful to do that! I see in this age of social media that people will lay out some great situation they were in, like: “Here’s what happened”, and “here’s what I DID,” and “I DID this spiritual thing,” and “Ain’t I great!” And there’s 40 people going: “Oh, your such an inspiration to me...” and; “Oh, you handled that so well, good for you...”
So, Abraham puts all the emphasis on God. You’ll also notice it’s “on the Hill of the Lord that it shall be provided,” or, “Shall be seen.” In other words, he saw the FULL provision of God when he got to the place that the Lord had called him.
Remember vs. 3 and repeated in vs. 9, “they came to the place that God had told him.” Now, had he gone half way there, would he have seen the full provision of God? If he would have gone 3⁄4 of the way there, would he have seen the FULL provision of God?
He ONLY saw the full provision of God when he went the total distance, when he gave 100% obedience to the Lord! (All your heart, soul, mind and strength)!
And this really convicted me this week, so I challenge you too! What is it that we’re holding back? What area of our life have we only given 50% or 75% to God? He needs our ALL in order to display His ALL.
join us next week for the exciting conclusion to this chapter. Blessings to you all.