Genesis 22:3-19 – The Angel of The Lord speaks to Abraham

Genesis 22:3-19 – The Angel of The Lord speaks to Abraham

Genesis 22:3-5 Abraham does not hesitate but goes to the place where God tells him to offer his son. He himself prepared the wood for the burnt offering and placed it upon the donkey for a large amount of wood would be necessary for the burnt offering. He took with him a servant and his son Isaac. Abraham tells his servants to wait behind while he goes with his son to worship. He did not want his servants to see what he was about to do. He tells them though that he and the young man would return to them.

This is a demonstration of the faith of Abraham that God was able to raise his son from the dead. God had promised him that He would make of Isaac a great nation through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed, this could not come to pass if Isaac was dead.

The word used for worship in Genesis 22:5 means literally “to bow down”. When we think of the word “worship” we think that it means what goes on in our worship services, but more accurately it means to bow to God’s will in our lives. This is and idea central to New Covenant faith as expressed in Romans 12:1-2. It may involve suffering even death, but whatever his will is we must be willing to accept it with thanksgiving; this is what true worship is all about. Our Messiah gave us an example of what real worship is (Matthew 26:39).

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”(Hebrews 5:8). Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

The phrase “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” does not mean that Yeshua was ever disobedient but rather that He learned through experience as a Man and through all His temptation and sufferings what it meant to suffer and triumph in a way He did not experience before He became flesh. Submission to the Father was complete when Jesus died on the cross and uttered His last words, “it is finished”, He submitted to the will of the Father in bearing our sin as the prophet Isaiah foretold.

Genesis 22:6-8 -Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. It certainly brings to my mind the carrying of the cross by Yeshua, as he journeyed to the place of His sacrifice. Isaac must have sensed what was happening and asks his father about the missing sacrificial animal. Where is the lamb? Abraham’s response is “God will provide”, literally the word provide is “see”.

Genesis 22:9-12 – Abraham builds the altar himself and then binds his own son upon the altar. Both father and son were fully obedient to the will of God. Abraham picked up the knife to slit Isaac’s throat, in the same way that he offered his earlier sacrifices. The heart of Abraham was fully committed to offering his son. God allowed Abraham to go to the point of follow through to prove his faith in his action of obedience.

God who know all things knew the heart of Abraham, but here He gave Abraham an opportunity to demonstrate his faith. Abraham himself had his faith strengthened and developed while seeing afresh that God would provide (Genesis 22:8,13).

(James 2:21-23) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? {22} You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; {23} and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.

The one who speaks to Abraham is called “the Angel of the Lord”. In our previous studies we demonstrated that the Angel of the Lord is a pre-incarnation of Yeshua appearing in the Old Testament to specially chosen men and women. That this is not merely an angel of the Lord is the action and words that He speaks (Genesis 22:12). There are many appearances by God to man in the Old Testament. He first appeared to Hagar when she fled from Sarah when she was expecting Ishmael.

He appeared to Jacob in Genesis 32:24-30, He spoke to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3:1-8, He protected the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptian army Exodus 14:19-20. He reassured Joshua, in his role as commander and chief of the army of the Lord Joshua 5:13-15. He called Gideon to fight against the Moabites in Judges 6:11-24. He appeared in the fiery furnace to protect Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:25).

Abraham told Isaac that God will provide for Himself a lamb, and that was exactly what God did. The ram was put on the altar in the place of Isaac. Abraham named the location of the sacrifice Jehovah Yireh, which means literally “the Lord will provide”. The root of the word Yireh comes from the word meaning “to see”. The mount was known as Moriah which also comes from the same root “to see”. It was here that God’s ability to see the future met with His provision to provide, or God’s prevision made for His provision.

It was on Mount Moriah that God provided the lamb. When the permanent Temple was built the site was still known as Moriah. It was here that God filled the Temple with His Spirit and where God called Israel to come and offer sacrifices. It was here where daily exchanges of life could be experienced by Israel, through the sacrificial system. It was on another part of this mount outside the walls of the Temple that God provided atonement through the perfect Lamb (Isaiah 53).

Genesis 22:15-19 – The angel of the Lord speaks to Abraham again emphasizing in the strongest way that His Word would be accomplished, by making an oath and swearing by His own name. (Hebrews 6:13-18; Matthew 10:37). Because Abraham loved God enough to lay his only son on the altar the Lord once again confirmed His promise to Abraham that He would bless him abundantly, make his descendants as innumerable as the stars in the heavens and the sands of the sea, cause his descendants to prevail against their enemies, and cause all the nations to be blessed in and through his seed.

Following this wonderful confirmation and blessing given to Abraham, according to his word he returned with Isaac to his servants. God did not ask of Abraham something that he was not willing Himself to do. God on His part did not withhold His one and only son Jesus (Romans 8:32).

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