Sunday, February 19, 2020
One of the most powerful chapters in Scripture is in Hebrews 11. Here, the author lists many of the great people of the Bible who lived by faith.
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.Hebrews 11:1-2 (NLT)
In verse 6, the writer underlines the importance of faith as the critical element for the person who wishes to walk with God.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
Abraham’s walk in faith was against impossible odds and he made many mistakes along the way. When his faith was ultimately tested, however, he had learned how to trust completely the God Who is faithful to His promises.
God’s promises to Abraham began when he was 75 years old (Genesis 12:1-9). Within the next ten years, God would underline the promise, assuring Abraham that a child would come from his own gene pool (Genesis 15:1-6). The time from the initial promise until it’s fulfillment in Sarah’s barren womb would be 25 years (Genesis 25:1-7). Nine months later their son of promise, Isaac, would be born.
ABRAHAM’S TEST & OUR FAITH
Perhaps Isaac was a teenager or young adult. Abraham would have been around 115 years of age by Genesis 22:1-19. The parallels between the event of Abraham and Isaac’s experience and God’s beloved Son on Golgatha are written for our benefit (Romans 4:20-25). They lived out the reality of the cross to show us God’s purposes before the Law and 2,000 years before the cross. Looking back 2,000 years after the cross we see God’s unfolding purposes and believe
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.Romans 4:20-25 (NLT)
Some of the parallels between the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah lay the groundwork for understanding God the Father and the sacrifice of His One And Only Beloved Son, Jesus. In both events Isaac and Jesus chose to obey their Father’s will as they allowed themselves to be sacrificed. Isaac could have easily outrun his aged father. Jesus could easily have called ten thousand angels to rescue Him (Matthew 26:53). Of course, God rescued Isaac (Genesis 22:9-19) while, for Jesus, His love for us led Them to follow through (John 3:16). Note some of the parallels that the Scriptures allow us to ponder:
|ABRAHAM’S TEST||GEN. 22|
|New Testament REFERENCE|
|Take your son, your only son, whom you love||2||Matthew 3:17, 17:5; Mark 1:11, 9:7; Luke 3:22; John 1:14, 3:16, 18.|
|Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you||2||2 Chron.3:1; John 19:17-18|
|Abraham cut the wood for the offering||3||John 19:17-18|
|3-day journey (vs. 4)||4||Mark 10:34|
|We will worship…we will come back to you (vs. 5)||5||Resurrection Faith|
|Abraham ‘placed the wood on his son’ (vs. 6)||6||John 19:17-18|
|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 (vs. 9)||9||John 19:17-18|
|Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (vs. 12)||12||Hebrews 11:17-19|