Key Scripture: Genesis 22:1-8
Abraham obeyed God. He and Sarah left home and set out for the land God would show them. But they still didn’t have a child. It started to look like God might not keep his promises after all. But God always keeps his promises. When Abraham and Sarah were very old, God gave them a son. His name was Isaac.
God promised that, through Isaac, he would continue to grow Abraham’s family until they became a blessing to people in every nation! For this plan to work, it was important that Abraham trust God no matter what. Abraham would need to believe God was good and obey his commands even when he couldn’t understand them.
God tested Abraham’s obedience. He asked Abraham to give up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice. A sacrifice was a way for sinful people to worship a perfect, holy God. In a sacrifice, the sinful person kills an innocent animal and gives it to God as an offering for sin. God was asking Abraham to kill his own son as the sacrifice. How could this be right?
Even when he couldn’t understand God’s command, Abraham moved to obey. Abraham knew God was good and would keep his promises even if that meant he would have to bring Isaac back from the dead. Abraham took his son Isaac, and they traveled to a mountain. Isaac carried the wood for the offering, but he noticed they had not brought an animal to sacrifice. Abraham assured his son that God would provide the sacrifice. God always provides what he requires.
Abraham built an altar and tied Isaac on top of it. As he raised the knife in obedience, God said, “STOP!” God never meant for Abraham to kill his son, but now he knew Abraham was willing to obey no matter what. He was willing to give God his only son–the son he loved. When Abraham looked up, he saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. God had provided the animal for the sacrifice! Many years later, God provided another sacrifice for sin. This time, he didn’t provide a ram, but he gave his only Son–the Son he loved. This perfect sacrifice paid for the sins of his people forever.
Main Point: God tested Abraham by asking him to give up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham moved to obey, and God provided an animal instead.
Christ Connection: God gave up his only Son Jesus as the last and perfect sacrifice for sin (John 3:16 & Hebrews 10:11-14).