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 September 11, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Ezekiel 37-39
Audio: Ezekiel 37-39

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised.”
(Genesis 21:1 ESV)

Genesis 22 (ESV)

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

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Next: Genesis 23

Back: Genesis 21

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. Genesis 22:9-10

    Here I Am, My Son

    I’ve always had a hard time with Genesis 22. God tested Abraham and said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).

    What does Abraham do? Does he plead with God for Isaac as he did over Sodom? Would he send his son packing as he did with Hagar and Ishmael? No. He obeys.

    “So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him” (Genesis 22:3).

    I realize God was testing him (Genesis 22:1) but Abraham took matters into his own hands in the past many times. For him to arise early in the morning to take his son’s life with his own hands is troubling on so many levels.

    Genesis 22:5 stands out as an important verse when Abraham tells his men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” This is a glimpse into Abraham’s faith. He knows all that God promised regarding Isaac but he still obeys God and doesn’t question him.

    When I read in Genesis 22:9-10 that Abraham “bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood” and “reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son”, I can’t imagine the terror Isaac must have been experiencing. Until now, I had never considered what Abraham must have been going through himself because I’m too horrified at what Isaac was going through. But I have to wonder in that moment what was he experiencing as he grabbed the knife?

    This is certainly one of those times where God’s ways are not my ways.

    Thankfully, God provided a sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the thicket and Abraham named that place, “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14).

    This is an obvious foreshadowing of Jesus when the angel of the Lord says, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

    Herbert Lockyer writes in All the Books and Chapters of the Bible, "It is most difficult to condense the significance of this chapter. Here, for the first time, God desired, seemingly, human sacrifice to expiate sin. Later on, beasts were offered up. God, however, is intimating, in the surrender of Isaac, that, as man has sinned, it must be by man that His justice is satisfied. This chapter presents a notable foreshadowing of Calvary. There is this difference, though: Isaac was offered, but spared; Christ was offered, and died. The question of Isaac, 'where is the lamb?' (verse 7) remains unanswered all through the Old Testament. Its answer is in the Baptist's words: 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world' (John 1:29,36). The truth of substitution is taught in verse 13. The ram caught in the thicket was offered up 'in the stead of Isaac.' Isaac should have died, but the ram took his place. At the cross, Christ died for our sins. 'In our place condemned He stood.' Is this Savior-Substitute yours? He bore your sin and died your death. Do you believe this?"

    Father, help me when I read things in your Word I don’t like. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear when I’m disturbed in my spirit because of what I’ve read. Help me understand where understanding is necessary and help me be at peace when I’m not able to comprehend or understand. 

  2. I really love your prayer; I can’t help but feel the same way, because I’m human. These things are unimaginable to us, even more so than offering up your daughters to a mob who wants to rape angels!
    I need to pray this prayer.

  3. Before I trusted in Jesus Christ, this passage was one of the stumbling blocks to my believing the Bible. “How could people champion this obviously mentally ill man, Abraham, and believe he heard the voice of God? When people today kill because they ‘heard the voice of God,’ we know they're insane.” 

    But when God opened my eyes, I saw this passage very differently.

    I believe Abraham's faith was being tested by God, not because God doubted Abraham's faith, but to show God's people (later, when this was written down) that we can trust God to keep His promises. 

    I'm not saying this is fact, but I could even believe Abraham was mentally ill at this time, or hallucinating, and see God's sovereignty in protecting Isaac, because of His promise to Abraham about Isaac. Ultimately, that promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the descendant of Isaac, who IS the sacrificial Lamb provided by God. So this story is also foreshadowing our Savior's death on the cross for us. 

    I don't believe Abraham was mentally ill or hallucinating, but when people say that, I can see God even bigger on the stage of this story. 

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