Genesis 22:7-8 – And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (KJV)
John 8:56 – Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. (KJV)
I will never forget my first experience teaching the primary-level Sunday school class at my church. I loved using the old flannelgraph board to illustrate Bible stories to my students. While most of the lessons were easy to teach, I was a little apprehensive about explaining some of the more difficult Bible stories to children — stories such as the offering of Abraham's son Isaac in Genesis chapter 22. However, I soon learned that the children's response was one of total acceptance and simple faith.
Many adults, including myself, at one time or another, struggle to understand this event in the life of Abraham. But this test of Abraham's faith is a wonderful example of putting our entire trust in the whole promises of God. Notice the confidence in Abraham's response to Isaac's question, "Where is the lamb?" With full conviction, Abraham answered him, "God will provide himself a lamb."
Centuries later, God did provide (Himself) a lamb, and John the Baptist unmistakably answered Isaac's question when he pointed his disciples to follow Jesus: "And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" (John 1:36 KJV)
Isaac, the son who was promised to Abraham, had to live in order to produce offspring according to God's promise. Hebrews 11:17-19 states: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (KJV)
In today's Scripture, Jesus confirms that Abraham rejoiced to see His day! So, we see the great faith of our spiritual father, Abraham, as he looked forward in time to the coming One: our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, the Messiah.
If we simply take God at His divine word, believe His promises, and expect the impossible, then we, too, like little children, can accept by faith things we do not fully understand.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for the faithful obedience of Your servant Abraham. Shine the light of his testimony into our hearts once again, and renew our hope and trust in the precious promises of Your holy word. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.