GENESIS 22:1-19


** HERE I AM (1-5)

a)  What is the significance of God's calling Abraham by name?

God the good shepherd knows his sheep by name.  God knew Abraham well.  They had a friendship together.  God knows us by name.

What does Abraham's answer suggest about his basic attitude towards God?

He was ready by any means to obey God at that moment.  He did not answer, "What?"  but "Here I am."  He was ready for service.

a)  What did God ask Abraham to do?

God asked him, "To take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."


It was the final test of faith.  It was the test of true obedience.  Does Abraham love the blessing more than the giver of the blessing?  God's tests always come after God blesses us.  It was "some time later God tested Abraham."  God let him enjoy Isaac for a while, then it was time to test him.  God wants us to love him first; get rid of those idols.  God was training Abraham to put God first.  We must get rid of idols.  When God blesses us by giving us our heart's desire, it is easy to become attached to the gift that we forget the giver.  God's best blessings must be given back to God if they are to remain blessings and not become snares.  See Hebrews 12:5-11 and Job 5:17-18.

What shows that God knew very well the difficulty of what he was asking Abraham to do?

He emphasized "your only son…. Whom you love."

a)  How and when did Abraham respond to God's command?

It was early the next morning.  He saddled his donkey.  He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.  When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

What did he tell the servants when he came in sight of the place God told him about?  Why?

Verse 5, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back to you."  He had faith to believe that God would honor his obedience and intervene.

What do these things reveal about Abraham's faith in God?

Abraham had obedient faith.  "Early the next morning Abraham got up…" shows he didn't hesitate or calculate.  He didn't tell anyone, not even Sarah.  He overcame his personal feelings and emotions.  What God told him to do seemed crazy and insane, "What!?  Sacrifice my son Isaac?!"  But throughout the journey to the very altar of sacrifice, his faith in God and simple obedience to God's command did not waiver.  He remembered 21:12.  He believed that God does not contradict himself.


a)  As Abraham and Isaac climbed the mountain together, what did they carry?  

Wood, fire and a knife.

What did Isaac ask his father?

"….where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

How might this make Abraham's obedience more difficult?

He knew that Isaac was to be that lamb for the burnt offering.  They had done this thing together many times before.  They always had a lamb.  Now Isaac will be the lamb.  When Isaac asked this question, Abraham must have been momentarily shaken.  But Abraham trusted in God's love.  He obeyed God, not feelings.  He lived by absolute obedient faith.  It had taken him over 25 years of training in faith to reach this point.

a)  How did Abraham answer?

Verse 8, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."

What does this reveal about him?

He had faith that God would provide.  Abraham had complete confidence in God.  He had peace in his heart when he said this.  Through the years of God's training, Abraham had learned to trust in God.  He believed that in every situation, God would provide.  When we obey God, he will always provide.  God even gave us Jesus.

How does this answer plant faith in Isaac?

He expected to see the lamb that God would provide.  Recall Hebrews 11:6.


a)  After arriving at the place of sacrifice, what did Abraham do?

He built an altar and arranged the wood on it.  He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.  Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

What stopped him from slaying his son?

The angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven and said, "Do not lay a hand on the boy.  Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

What did the angel of the Lord say to him (12)?

Read verse 12.

What does it mean to "fear God"?

To respect him and honor him over oneself.  Abraham had absolute obedience.  He loved God more than his own son.  This shows he feared God because he obeyed God's hard command. Ever since man sinning, he lost creation order.  This was the culmination of Abraham's whole life.  To keep spiritual order.  Isaac was Abraham's life and joy.  But he was willingly ready to sacrifice Isaac.  See Deut. 6:5.  Abraham's actions showed that he loved God, the giver of the blessing, more than the blessing itself.  To endure God's blessing is more difficult than to receive it because we are easy to give our hearts over to idolatry and complacency.  God wanted to establish a nation that would fear him.  That is, those who would have an unconditional obedience and trust in God.  We must offer our Isaac to God if we are to show God that we love him and fear him.  What is your Isaac?

a)  How did God provide the sheep for the sacrifice?

See verse 13.

What did Abraham do?

He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

What did he call that place and why?

He called it, "The Lord Will Provide."  He saw that God provided the lamb both now and forever more.  Abraham learned by doing.  When one obeys God, God will provide all things.

What lesson of faith did Abraham and Isaac learn through this event?

That the Lord will provide when they obey him and trust him.  God provides everything for the person who loves him and fears him.  We too, must learn this lesson.  The only way to learn it is to offer our Isaac to God.  Without this kind of faith, we have no real peace in our hearts and our lives of faith becomes superficial.  But if we experience even once "the Lord will provide" faith, we learn the secret of the life of faith.  When we have this secret, we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness all our days.  God provided Jesus for my sins.  He is the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.  God was looking forward to the more perfect Lamb that would take away the sins of the world.  See Hebrews 11:17-19.

a)  Read verses 15-18.  What does it mean that the Lord swore by himself? (cf. Heb 6:13-17; Isa 45:23)

There was no one greater for him to swear by.  God would certainly do what he says.  God was pleased with Abraham's obedience.  God confirms his promise and seals it.  No one could change it.  (Compare this verses with 18:18,19 and see differences.)

b) What moved him to make this firm, unchanged oath?

Abraham's obedience to God that showed he loved God more than Isaac.  Read verse 16 and 18.  "……..because you have obeyed me."

a)  How did he bless Abraham and his descendants?

God would make Abraham's descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky…….they would take possession of their enemies…..all nations would be blessed."  Jesus would come through them.

In what respect was this a blessing similar to and how was it different from the earlier covenant promises?

Similar:  descendants like the stars in sky and sand on the seashore, all nations on earth will be blessed through you.

Difference: "Because you have done this…. Because you have obeyed me."  Verse 18 offspring is singular " or seed" meaning Jesus.  As Abraham grew in faith, God renewed his promises and confirmed by oath and swore it. (Compare this covenant with 18:18,19)

a)  Read verse 18 again.  Why was it so important for Abraham to obey God?

This was the way God could build the nation of faith.  Through one man's faith and obedience, God could bless all the nations.

What can we learn from Abraham?

Obedient faith can be a blessing to the world.  God was looking for one man of obedience.  Disobedience was the sin of man from the beginning.  

What is the meaning to us of God's promises? (Gal 3:7-9,14)

We are part of the nation of faith when we obey God and have faith in Jesus.

a)  How did God train Abraham in faith?

God did not give him a sign of a  great nation right away.  God trained him in patience by giving him his promises.  God wanted Abraham to believe and hold onto his promises.  God provided Abraham a son ten asked him to sacrifice him.  God wanted Abraham to love him the most.  God wanted Abraham to learn to obey him absolutely.

What do you learn in chapters 12-22 about the God of Abraham?

The God of Abraham is patient, merciful and faithful.  He calls me to be a blessing.  He does not give up on his people.  He has hope and vision for his people.

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