Genesis chapter 22 has confused many a Bible reader and provoked much commentary (some helpful, and some not).
The questions raised in the historical narrative are not easily answered, but we can find answers if we search the scriptures diligently.
Join for midweek study during the month of February as we explore this fascinating chapter and learn some valuable lessons from it.
These studies will be held each Wednesday at 6:00 PM at the Pastor’s study (208 E. Main. St. in Reedsburg). The schedule and outlines are below:
02/03/16 – The Personal Lessons
No one cannot honestly read this chapter without being horrified by the entire event.
All attempts to “sanitize” the passage immediately fail: This is God testing his servant Abraham
On a personal level, we are confronted with at least two truths which we need to embrace:
1. God’s Ways are Not Our Ways (Isaiah 55:8-9)
– The doctrine stated simply: God is not like us
– The hard lesson: That’s actually a good thing
2. God Must Be Trusted Implicitly (Hebrews 11:17-19)
– God had kept previous promises (examples?)
– Abraham applied past grace to the present test
02/10/16 – The Prophetic Lesson
Deeper than God’s personal dealings with Abraham were the prophetic implications of Isaac’s death: God will provide for himself a lamb… (vs. 8)
After the Fall, God set history into motion by promising salvation through a coming “seed” (Gen. 3:15).
Much “enmity” then ensued, but God confirmed his promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:7, 15:3, 17:7, etc.).
Isaac was the promised “seed” at that time (Gen. 21:12), so here was the problem: If he died, God’s promise died.
In revealing himself as “YHWH-Jireh”, God filled the church with renewed expectation (vs. 14, John 8:56).
God also began to reveal here the connection between the seed’s incarnation and work of atonement (next week…).
02/17/16 – The Typological Lesson
Up to this point in redemptive-history, the necessity of blood atonement was only vaguely known to God’s people (e.g., Genesis 4:3, 8:20).
Here, blood atonement is established as a central theme of scripture and verse 14 indicates that it filled God’s people with hope for the future.
The first fulfillment of this type occurred about one thousand years later when David built an altar on this site (2 Samuel 24:24-25).
The second fulfillment occurred a generation later when Solomon built the Temple on this site and the blood of the covenant began to flow in abundance (2 Chron. 3:1, 7:4).
The final fulfillment occurred about a thousand years (after millions of typological sacrifices performed upon that Mountain) when Jesus appeared (John 1:29, 36).
Besides the geography involved, the pre-figuration of a father not withholding his only son is as striking as it is stirring (c.f., John 3:16, Romans 8:32).
02/24/16 – The Ethical Lesson
The problem stated: Many people build their hope of salvation on a bare profession of faith in God.
Both John and Jesus warned people about this shallow kind of hope (Luke 3:7-11 & John 8:39).
James thought that the best example of true/living faith was found in Abraham (James 2:21-26).
Lest any panic, let it be noted that Abraham was fully justified by faith in Genesis 15:6 (c.f., Rom. 4:2-3).
Nevertheless [20-40 years later?], his inward faith was outwardly “perfected” through obedience.
Conclusion: We are indeed justified through faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone.