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Genesis 22

God Tests Abraham’s Faith
1Some time later, God tested Abraham. # 22:1 See Heb. 11:17–19. A new revelation (seeing God as El Olam) will always bring a new test. There is no indication that Abraham knew he was being tested. The word for “tested” is most commonly translated “proved.” The purpose of God’s tests are not so that we will fail, but that he will prove that we are faithful. The Midrash shows the word for “tested” is derived etymologically from a word that means “[elevated] banner,” like a flag flying high above a ship or a victory banner elevated over an army. This means that God elevated Abraham and made him great by testing—test upon test, greatness after greatness. He does the same thing today with the spiritual seed of Abraham. We all want Abraham’s faith, but do we want Abraham’s trial to perfect our faith? Tests are God’s vote of confidence in our future. The budding qualities of Christlikeness are brought forth in every test of our faith. Someday, you may call a “blessing” what you once called a “burden.”
He said, “Abraham!” # 22:1 God had spoken many, many times to Abraham. Perhaps this time he spoke by an audible voice or by a dream.
“Yes, I’m here,” Abraham answered.
2God said, “Please # 22:2 “Please (Hb. na’) take your son.” God’s merciful, understanding heart is seen by the word “please.” take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom I know you dearly love, # 22:2 As every detail of God’s instruction was revealed, Abraham’s task became more and more challenging. Ishmael was his only son with Hagar, but when God spoke Isaac’s name, Abraham’s heart sank. Then, God added “whom I know you dearly love.” What a test this was of our father of faith, Abraham! Early Jewish tradition holds that Abraham concealed this encounter with God from Sarah so that she would not hinder him from doing as God commanded. See Josephus, Ant. 1.12.2. and go to the land of Moriah. # 22:2 Moriah means “chosen by Yahweh” and comes from a root word meaning “sight” or “vision.” Abraham was told to go to the mountain of Clear Vision. Moriah is inside the city walls of modern Jerusalem and is part of the historic site of the Temple Mount. The temple of the Lord will always be built at the place of sacrifice. Offer him up to me as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will show you.” 3Early the next morning, Abraham cut the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on his donkey, and set out for the distant place God had shown him. He took with him two of his servants, and his son Isaac.
4On the third day, # 22:4 So many wonderful things happen “on the third day.” See Hos. 6:2; Matt. 12:40; Luke 18:33; John 2:1; 1 Cor. 15:4. Keep in mind, a journey like this would have been difficult for an aged man. Think about what heart-breaking agony he must have endured for these three days. Truly, Abraham is “the father of faith” (Rom. 4:11–24). Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the young men. “Isaac # 22:5 Or “The boy,” a noun that encompasses a wide age range from infancy to young adulthood. Scholars speculate Isaac’s age at this time as around twenty; however, Josephus, the Jewish historian, has his age at twenty-five (Ant. 1.13.2), while others calculate he was thirty-seven. and I will go up and worship; # 22:5 This is the first use of the Hebrew word for worship (shachah) in the Bible. Abraham freely offered his beloved son to God and called it worship. True worship always involves a sacrifice. The first reference in the New Testament to worship is found with men bowing down before a child and offering sacrificial gifts to Jesus—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The biblical concept of worship includes freely bowing down before God, bringing our gifts (sacrifices of praise) to honor and adore him. The Hebrew language has meaning attached to every letter, not just every word. Often, the meaning of the word is the combination of the meaning of each individual letter. For example, the Hebrew word for “worship” (shachah) means “to bow down in adoration.” It’s the combination of only three letters in Hebrew: shin-chet-hei. Shin = “fiery passion.” Chet = “joining with God in a secret place or bridal chamber.” Hei = “in the presence of God.” Thus, worship could be defined as “experiencing God’s fiery passion as we come into his presence in the bridal chamber.” See Scherman, Nosson/Zlotowitz, Meir, Rabbis: Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, 1988, p. 88. then we # 22:5 Notice the faith of Abraham. He knew that God, if he had to, would resurrect Isaac so that both Isaac and his father would return to where they left the servants. See Rom. 4:20–21; Heb. 11:17–19. will return to you.” 6So Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on Isaac’s back. # 22:6 Isaac carrying the wood foreshadowed Christ carrying his cross. See John 19:17; Phil. 2:5–8. Abraham carried the knife and the fire, # 22:6 That is, a “fire [stone],” most likely a flint rock to strike and build a fire. and the two of them walked up the mountain together.
7“Father?” Isaac broke the silence.
“Yes, my son,” Abraham replied.
“We have the wood and the fire,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8Abraham answered, “My son, God himself will provide # 22:8 Or “God will see for himself.” the lamb for an offering.” So they went on together.
9When they arrived at the place on Mount Moriah that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar and stacked the wood on it. He tied up his son Isaac and laid him on top of the wood on the altar. 10Then Abraham took the knife in his hand to plunge it into his son, 11but the angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven, saying, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes, I’m here,” he answered.
12“Do not lay a hand on the boy or harm him,” he said, “for now, I know you are fully dedicated to me, # 22:12 Or “that you fear God.” since you did not withhold your son, your beloved son, # 22:12 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “your only son.” from me.”
13As Abraham looked up, his eyes fell upon a ram caught by its horns in a nearby thicket. Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it on the altar as a burnt offering in Isaac’s place. # 22:13 The ram caught in the thicket is a picture of Christ, who was “caught in the thicket” of our sins. Here we have the doctrine of substitution. Christ became our Substitute, just as the ram became a substitute for Isaac. See Isa. 52:13–53:12; Matt. 20:28; John 6:51; 10:11–18; 11:50–52; 15:13; Rom. 4:25; 5:6–8; 14:15; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:14–21; Heb. 2:9–18. 14So Abraham named that place Yahweh Appears. # 22:14 Or “Yahweh Sees [to it]” or “Yahweh Provides.” However, the verb in the descriptive clause is pointed, or can be translated as a passive, reading “Yahweh Appears.” Also, the Septuagint renders it “On the mount the Lord appears.” Even to this day, it is said, “On Yahweh’s Mountain there is vision.” # 22:14 Or “On Yahweh’s mountain there is vision.” On Yahweh’s mountain (Golgotha) we see clearly the vision of God placing our sins upon his Son. Our salvation is already provided for us through the blood of Jesus’ cross. Solomon’s Temple was built on Moriah (see 2 Chron. 3:1). This was also the site where David purchased Araunah’s threshing floor (see 2 Sam. 24; 1 Chron. 21).
15Yahweh’s angel spoke a second time from heaven:
16-17“ ‘I solemnly promise you,
by the glory of my own name,’ decrees Yahweh,
‘because you have obeyed my voice
and did not withhold from me your son—your beloved son # 22:16–17 There is a hint in the test of Abraham offering his son that one day God would require a human sacrifice to take away the sins of the world. See Rom. 8:32.
I will greatly bless you!
I will make sure your seed becomes as numerous
as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the seashore.
Your offspring will take possession of the city gates of their enemies. # 22:16–17 “Tak[ing] possession of the city gates of their enemies” is a figurative expression that refers to conquering, defeating, and taking possession of the enemy’s city. Here, it means simply that the seed of Abraham will have great authority to conquer cities.
18Because you have obeyed me,
the entire world will be blessed through your seed.’ ” # 22:18 The “seed” has his life, his life of faith.
19So Abraham and Isaac returned to the waiting servants, and they departed for Beersheba, where Abraham had settled. # 22:19 Behind the testing of Abraham lies the wisdom of God. Notice these four divine principles of God’s tests: (1) When God tests us, his requirements of us often make no sense at the time. Therefore, faith is needed. Faith yields to God, even when it does not make sense. (2) Faith is never brought to maturity without a measure of suffering attached. Even Jesus was made perfect through sufferings (see Acts 14:22; Heb. 2:10; 5:8). Faith will carry you through even the most severe trial. (3) We must obey the Holy Spirit even before we know all the details of what is involved. We must be willing to not know where God is taking us. Obedience is always one moment, one step at a time. (4) Others may not be permitted to know what God is doing with us. Abraham left the two servants behind, he left Sarah behind, and only he, Isaac, and God would see this test. Often, God will bring you to a lonely place where others cannot intrude; they wouldn’t understand anyway!
The Children of Nahor
20-23Some time later Abraham heard the news, “You’re an uncle! Milcah and your brother Nahor have eight sons: Uz, their firstborn, Buz # 22:20–23 Buz means “contempt” and is mentioned in Jer. 25:23. Elihu, Job’s fourth friend, was called a “Buzite” (Job 32:2). his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, # 22:20–23 Aram was the ancestor of the Syrians. Chesed, # 22:20–23 Chesed means “increase” and is thought to be the name from which his eponymous ancestors, the Chaldeans (Hb. kasdim), got their name. Hazo, # 22:20–23 The name Hazo means “vision” and was found in an ancient inscription. Hazo possibly represents the Hazu region in northern Arabia, known from the records of Esarhaddon’s campaigns. Uz, Buz, and Hazo likely settled in the land north of Edom. Phildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel the father of Rebekah.” # 22:20–23 Rebekah was the wife-to-be of Isaac. Her name is derived from a Hebrew root meaning “to loop a cord over the head of a lamb or kid”; thus, some etymologists define the meaning of her name as “captivating [beauty]” or “beauty that ensnares.” 24Moreover, Nahor had another wife, # 22:24 Or “concubine,” a term referring to a wife with secondary status in the family. She may have been either taken as a captive in war or purchased. Wives taken as captives in war were given certain protection from exploitation (see Deut. 21:10–17). This list contains the names of twelve Aramaean tribes traced to Nahor, the same number associated with Ishmael (see Gen. 25:13–15) and Jacob (see Gen. 49). Reumah, who also had four sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

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Genesis 22: TPT





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