Here are a few thoughts. And by no means is this a full summary or understanding of the events that take place in this chapter. This chapter is one of the most important chapters of the Old Testament, but also one of the least understood!
It’s simple. Let’s slow down a little! When we read a chapter for the first time we need to read it carefully because it’s new to us, but when we read a chapter for the fortieth time, past thoughts come to mind and we settle back on what we heard, very little preparation is needed for that meeting… Or do we try and get fresh thoughts? It’s not to me so much about fresh thoughts, but to go to another dimension, a deeper insight into just what I used to understand about the given scriptures.
We all want deeper insight, don’t we? Or you wouldn’t be reading this letter. But where do we get it? In books what man has written or by prayer and fasting!
Now it seems like I am veering off the above subject, but it’s preparation for what is coming.
It tells us that God tested Abram and asked him to take his ONLY son, the one he LOVED to be sacrificed. It is a terrible thing for a child that is the only child of a parent to die. It’s worse when you really love that child. You might be willing to lose a disobedient child but not an obedient child.
Isaac was the promise to Abram, and now the promise was to be taken away. Jesus was the promise of God to mankind. But Abram knew God kept His word and by faith he did everything. Isaac did not know everything in advance. Neither does Jesus know in advance when He will return, neither did He know what it was going to feel when He was going to be tied to the altar (cross) and when the knife (sword) would go through Him. The lesson I have learnt through this was it’s not important to know all, but in faith and simple acceptance to trust the Father’s power and knowledge and provision in every circumstance.
I realized every time that when I read this chapter that there was a picture coming through more of the son than ever before. It has helped me to balance the imbalance I have always had on this chapter. It’s like something binding the Old Testament with the New. In the Old Testament the Father speaks more, but in the New Testament the Son speaks.
Often when we read Genesis 22, we are in admiration of the father’s (Abram) love, but to tell you the truth, I have hardly ever heard about the son’s love for the father. It was the son that had to pay the price of sacrifice. If Isaac was not willing for this, it might have spoiled the testimony of the father in a sense. It’s hard to live in a home where someone is trying to make it difficult for us to go to the meetings or serve God as we want.
Our Father in heaven sent His ONLY BELOVED Son to be mistreated not just by religious and self-righteous people, but rejected by us too in these days. It was a hard thing for Him to give away heaven’s greatest treasure to be trampled upon by men.
Isaac must have been a teenage boy, wow, when I was a teenage boy my mom told me that I was going to be put on the altar (the Work) and I gave her a piece of my mind. She was in tears after that, I felt bad at what I had told her, but thought she was selfish to give me away when I had other plans for my life and future. Only at the age of 29 I got onto the altar. How old was Isaac?
Abram left the servants behind before he climbed the mountain. He knew that there might be arguing or even interference. If Jesus had taken His disciples all the way to the cross, they could have wanted to save Him from that experience. It was in Peter’s heart all the while to save Jesus. The thought of “He who saves his life shall lose it” had not yet hit home. And I think it’s true for most of us. We try and save one another from experiences we all need to help us grow, and just because we didn’t choose our experience or the severity or even warned about it, it doesn’t mean it’s not good for us and planned by our Father too. Look again at Job.
The chapter Isaiah 53v10 comes to mind…. Yet it PLEASED the Lord to bruise Him. Fresh thoughts come to mind over here. Just as everyone is willing to speak about God, but not everyone accepts or talks of Jesus. Just as everyone talks of Abram in Genesis 22, hardly anyone accepts or talks of his son.
Our Father in heaven knew even though He sends His greatest treasure to earth, only very few will be willing to sell all they have a pay for it, let alone accept it. But He still sent Jesus and Jesus preached the words His Father gave Him by saying narrow is the gate and few there be that find (look for) it.
In John 17, we get a little view of the relationship the Father and Son had and that the Son always wanted to do what pleased His Father and this was the attitude of Isaac. Isaac must have known his father’s heart and want to please him. How many young ones are there in the bible that were spirit-guided people,…how old was Daniel, David when he was anointed, Samson, Samuel and today there are still the young ones amongst us with that special anointing.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross He knew that His Father had done it, it was the Father’s will and that’s why His first words of forgiveness to these soldiers rang through to them. He was the Ram that Abram got out of the thicket. It could have been a thorn bush that he was stuck in. Jesus had the thorn crown pushed into head. It must have been throbbing and painful.
Abram learnt that saving is in dying (giving yourself a living sacrifice). In the east gifts are normally given as a token of love of friendship, but usually the gifts were something out of your own home you treasure or even livestock. Why do we only talk about God (who really is our Father) and not refer to the life of His Son more?
The 5 foolish did not get to know the Son, they probably spoke about God the Father, but who was AT the door and who WAS and IS the door?
The secrets of the Lamb are only revealed to those who love Him, and those who love Him always think and speak of Him. Notice how the bible always refers to itself as the “holy scriptures” but Christ coming into the world as “The Word.” Both John and Revelation speak of the same. We often refer to the Word of God as the bible…paper and ink, but the true Word is the Christ living within! We leave Christ out of the picture many times.
Jesus was THE message that came from heaven, and what was this message…. A message of purpose and love and mercy and in these three are many more messages hidden. Our policy of mistrust in our fellow humans has proved itself, so how did Jesus change that… That he laid down His life for us.
Jesus, in His cooperation with His Fathers’ will, He went against His own wishes and emotions that He experienced when He became human. Jesus took the place of Isaac, He took the place of the ram, the lambs, the bullocks, the doves, the need to buy a sacrifice! He took the place of you and I going to a lost eternity…
Our righteousness is not the things that come easy for us and neither does it come by works or a discount! A price was paid for us that we could never afford and it was meant to be like that, so that eternity might not be a competition of talents but a surrender of self to our Father’s will.
Someone or something had to pay the price. Instead of the murderer Barabas (you and I), Jesus had to die! Instead of Isaac, the Lamb (Ram) of God. Gifts and money could not pay for sin, only a life, a perfect life. Not any life could be taken because a sinful life would have to pay for its own sin. Jesus had become sin for us, yet in it all He had no sin, and He no desire for it because His love for His Father that walked all the way to the altar with Him was still as strong as it was. Yet, in this the Father felt the pain of His son, only this time He had to pierce Him through…
This offering is not an offering we give, it’s hardly a sacrifice either because Jesus became the only sacrifice, the only real price, the only acceptable. Jesus said my yoke is easy, my burden light. Yes, we often pierce ourselves through with many sorrows but they are because we have not yet learnt to trust Christ to carry it for us. God showed Abram his provision by giving the Ram instead of his son.
Abram made a wrong choice previously by not telling the full truth about his wife .. because he loved her so much. But this time he was not going to make the same mistake. He learnt from his mistake.
Parents try and “save” their children by giving them the best education possible, putting them in private schools which is a good thing to wish for, but the Gospel is about dying, not elevation in life.
One last set of thoughts before I conclude this letter .. Jesus said that no man comes unto the Father but by me…. But by eating of me, but by loving me, but by speaking of me… If Isaac did not love Abram dearly, he would or could of said to his father this is impossible or maybe tell his dad he is too old to think straight, but Isaac did not say a word, got onto the altar, willing to be bound and pierced through before being offered up.
Jesus became THE sacrifice, the only ACCEPTABLE sacrifice in His father’s eyes. We need to be like Isaac, just lay ourselves on the altar and when we are there, we then discover it’s not that hard and we are replaced by Christ’s blood.