The man of faith must keep his eye on God, looking not at circumstances,
nor pondering the results of what God asks of him.
The trial of faith is precious.
1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, 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.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then 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 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 the fire in his hand, and a 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?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 ¶ And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.
20 ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,
22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.
23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.
24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.
Genesis 22:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 22:3-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 22:11-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 22:15-16 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 22:17-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 22:1-13 – Abraham Ready to Offer Isaac
Faith must be proved. Only in trial does she put forth her strength or dare the impossible. Satan tempts to bring forth the bad, God to call forth into exercise our highest and best. God went every step of the way with His servant, who was called into closer fellowship with himself than any other of the human race. Moriah was a miniature of Calvary, where God spared not His only Son. Abraham’s obedience was immediate. He arose early in the morning. It was exact. It was performed in the spirit of worship. It was contagious, for Isaac used the same expression to his father, as he to God—“Here am I.” Apparently he had no need to acquaint Sarah with the object of his journey; he was so sure that the divine promise could not fail. He said to his young men, “We will come unto you.” If it were necessary, he knew that God would raise him from the dead. See Hebrews 11:19. Isaac asked, “Where is the lamb?” John the Baptist answered in John 1:29. —Through the Bible Day by Day
God sends us no trial, whether great or small, without first preparing us. Trials are God’s vote of confidence in us. Many a trifling event is sent to test us, ere a greater trial is permitted to break on our heads. We are set to climb the lower peaks before urged to the loftiest summits with their virgin snows; are made to run with the footmen, before contending with horses; are taught to wade in the shallows, before venturing into the swell of the ocean waves. (F.B. Meyer)
Temptation is that which puts to the test. Trials sent by God do this. A test is never employed for the purpose of injury. A weight is attached to a rope, not to break, but to prove it. Pressure is applied to a boiler, not to burst it, but to certify its power of resistance. The testing process here confers no strength. But when a sailor has to navigate his ship under a heavy gale and in a difficult channel; or when a general has to fight against a superior force and on disadvantageous ground, skill and courage are not only tested, but improved. The test had brought experience, and by practice is every faculty perfected. So, faith grows stronger by exercise, and patience by the enduring of sorrow. Thus alone it was that “God did tempt Abraham.” (Newman Hall)
Genesis 22:14-24 – The Promise Sealed with an Oath
It was only at the last moment that the ram was shown and substituted. It is when we get to the mount of sacrifice that God’s deliverance is seen. It was when Pharaoh had almost overtaken Israel that their way was cleft through the Red Sea. It was in the early dawn that Jesus came walking on the water. The angel delivered Peter just before the time of his execution. God is never a moment too soon, or too late. What an outburst of blessing! It was a perfect cloudburst! When we have obeyed God to the uttermost and glorified Him in the fires, there is no limit to the fruit-fullness or increase with which we shall become enriched. God puts His key into the hands of the faith that absolutely trusts Him, saying, “Take what you will.” Let us not forget that, as the children of Abraham by faith, we are His heirs, and may reverently lay claim to a share in these glorious promises. See Galatians 3:9. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 22:14 – Jehovah-jireh: In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
Abraham knew it would be. Probably he never told Sarah what God had asked of him till he and the lad were safely back in the tent. What need to trouble her? Her weak faith could not have stood the ordeal. It was with an unfaltering tone that the patriarch told his young men that they two would presently return. Even though he should actually take Isaac’s life, he was sure that he would receive him again from the altar in health. It was only at the very last moment that God indicated the ram as the sufficient substitute. So God’s deliverances always come; they are provided in the mount of trial and sacrifice.
When the foe seems secure of victory.—So it was with Israel. Pharaoh, with his hosts, counted on an easy victory, the precipices around, the sea in front. To the eye of sense it seemed impossible to escape: all hope died. It was just then that the Almighty cleft a path through the mighty deep.
“In the fourth watch of the night” (Matthew 14:25). —Strength was well-nigh exhausted in long battling with the waves. For hours the disciples with difficulty had kept themselves afloat. It seemed as if they must give in through physical collapse. It was then that the form of Jesus drew nigh unto the ship.
On the night before execution.—Thus Peter lies sleeping the Church is gathered in prayer. Tomorrow he will be a corpse. But the angel comes then to open the prison doors.
So you may have come to an end of your own strength, and wisdom, and energy. The altar, wood, and fire are ready, the knife upraised, your Isaac on the point to die: but even now God will provide. Trust Him to indicate the way of escape. —Our Daily Homily
It is from the dark clouds in our sky that the showers of blessing come. (Moody)