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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018.05.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 22:1-19

Questions for Littles: What do vv1, 7, and 11 have in common? What long description does v2 make of Isaac? What do the instructions of Genesis 22:2 have in common with the instructions of Genesis 12:1? What time of day does Abraham get up in v3? What chore does he have to do before they leave? How many days does it take to get near the spot (v4)? Whom does Abraham say will go, and whom does Abraham say will come back (v5)? What question does Isaac have (v7)? What answer does Abraham give (v8)? What is Abraham going to do in v10? Who stops him (v11)? What does God say that He knows in v12? Why? What does Abraham see in v13? What does he do with it? What does Abraham call the place (v14)? After Abraham worships, what does the angel of Yahweh do a second time (v15)? By whom does God swear (v16)? What does God promise about the number of Abraham’s offspring (v17a)? What does God promise about the power of Abraham’s offspring (v17b)? What does God promise about the blessedness of Abraham’s offspring (v18)? 
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we heard about the great almost-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. It is a very touching scene. “Father” “Here I am, my son” … how much it must have pained Abraham to do this.

And yet, he was certain that God would resurrect Isaac, even He should be killed. He tells the young men that they would both be coming back, and that’s exactly what happens in v19. He told Isaac that the Lord would provide for the burnt offering, and the Lord does provide in v13.

Then something curious happens. Before the Lord announces the blessing upon Abraham, there is a bit of an interlude. It would have taken a while to properly slaughter and drain an animal for the sacrifice. And yet, the Lord waits until Abraham has finished worshiping to respond with the blessing.

This is because the lesson is not so much in Abraham’s trusting the Lord as it is in the Lord’s provision. After all, the name of the mountain is not “Abraham will obey” but rather “Yahweh will provide.” It is the sacrifice of the ram, not the almost-sacrifice of Isaac that is in most central focus.

This, of course, is because the passage is primarily about Christ Himself. God’s Son. God’s only-begotten Son, whom He loves. God gave Him for us, and it is in this that we know love!

And so, God swears by Himself, since there is no one and no thing greater than Himself to swear by: the promised substitute will come from Abraham’s own flesh.
What place does worship have in your life? Does your worship show that  it is all about what God has done, and not about what you have done?
Suggested songs: ARP152 “Faith and Peace” or HB199 “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed”

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