Isaac, son of Abraham, the only promised son of Abraham was an obedient, trusting son. He went all the way with his father to the place “afar off” to a mountain which the LORD showed him. The faith of Abraham has been seen since Genesis 12, and he has been faithful to God.
Faithful to God does not mean there has not been some times of failure, disobedience or sin; it does mean that in all his faults he always trusted the LORD; he always returned to God. Those of us who are Christians are called to a faithful life, a life of faithfulness, and that does not mean there won’t be times we do not fail or fall into sin; it does mean we won’t stay there.
Our study today will include verse 10 once again:
“And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” Genesis 22:10-14 (KJV)
Abraham, believing God would keep His promise of making a great nation through Isaac continues with an obedient act to the LORD God, takes the knife to slay his son, and then hears the “angel of the LORD” call his name. It seems that the “angel of the LORD” stops the hand of Abraham from its downward motion. It does not seem too far to say that the LORD stopped Abraham’s hand from slaying Isaac.
There are some things in this event that we must consider. First of all, Isaac was not a worthy sacrifice (Psalm 14:2-3; Romans 3:10, 23). He was human, with the uncleanness of sin, as we all are. No sinful human being can pay the sacrifice for their sins, nor anyone else’s. Secondly, God has actually forbidden mankind from offering human sacrifice. Human sacrifice was the practice of the people whom Abraham left in Ur of the Chaldees, and the practice of the people in the land of Canaan, and God’s people are forbidden to practice the evil of the Canaanites.
It seems that we have sacrifice of children in the USA, and in other nations of the world. We see no value in the unborn so in the past 36 years we have sacrificed 48,000,000 (48 million) unborns to the gods of pleasure and convenience. Their blood cries out to the thrice holy God, and condemns the people of the nations who have practiced this unholy act. The blood of even these is insufficient to atone for the sins of those who committed the acts of treachery and murder. The unborn children that have been treasonized by their mothers cry out against them, and the “doctors” who have committed treachery against the medical profession.
Abraham’s hand is stayed by our LORD from carrying out the sacrifice showing himself faithful to God. Abraham turns and sees a Ram caught by his horns in a bush. Now, how many times would that happen. On a hill top far away from any other flocks of sheep, God provides a substitute for Isaac. We are all in need of a Substitute for our sins; a Substitute who will take our place. If we were to die for our own sins that would mean an eternity apart from God, because our death does not suffice the take away our sin; it also does not provide for us eternal life; but eternal death, apart from God; suffering eternally for our sins. That is what we deserve.
As the Ram was the substitute for Isaac, so our Substitute is the Lamb of God. The Ram whose power was yielded to His Father, and was willing to subject Himself to the evil hands of men, be the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, offering forgiveness to all who will call on His name.
There is forgiveness to all the women who have killed their unborn children, and to the “doctors” who have committed the treacherous acts against the children, the mothers, and the medical profession by their acts of abortion. Jesus Christ is our Substitute for our sins. He died on the cross to take away our sins, cleanse us from sin, to be the atonement for our sin, to be the one who took upon Himself the wrath of His own Father, having become sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“Jehovah-jireh” our God has provided well for us through His Son Jesus. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Be saved, be cleansed of all your sin through faith in Jesus Christ; our Substitute; today.
-Tim A. Blankenship