1After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2. And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3. And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7. And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
God has told Abram that he will be the father of many. But he and his wife Sarai had no children at that time. His wife wanted to give him children but she could not. So we find in the next part of scripture Abraham and Sarai they take matters into their own hands.
1. Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
15. And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. 16. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
1And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. 9. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
God continues to tell Abram that he will multiply and bring forth many generations of people. God changes his name to Abraham because he would be the father of many nations. God had chosen Abraham and showed him great favor. Can you imagine how Abraham must have felt? Looking now, we see just how God fulfilled his plans for Abraham, but Abraham could not see that far, however, he believed the Lord. We cannot see the plans God has for us, but we must trust Him because his promises are true and what he says will come to pass in his time. Moving on to verse 15
15. And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18. And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19. And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. 22. And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
Now Abraham is an old man and his wife Sarai now called Sarah of the Lord, is now past normal child bearing years.
It seemed impossible in the eyes of man for them to have a child at this stage in their lives. However, we know that what seems impossible to us, is not with God, for nothing is impossible to God. Hallelujah! God will always make good on his promises.
1. And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 4. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. 6. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 7. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. 8. And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
Just as God had told Abraham many years before, he and Sarah finally had a son. God said it, and it came to pass just as all words from the LORD. We can always count on Him ever trusting and knowing that what he says, he will do. God is amazing and faithful. No matter what we do or how we mess up, no matter how Satan tries to interfere, still God’s plans cannot be stopped. If he says something will come to pass, it will! Praise HIM!
9. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 12. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
Even though Ishmael was Abraham’s first born, he was not the son of Abraham and Sarah, he was not the son of covenant. However, Abraham loved him very much and to have to let him go was grievous, but God let Abraham know that he would take care of him and that because Ishmael was also Abraham’s son, he would be blessed as well and God had a plan for his life. So Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael on their way as the Lord said trusting God to take care of them. We like Abraham can always trust God with our loved ones knowing that he loves them even more than we do and will take care of them.
Genesis 22 1. And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Now, after all this time, after all the years of waiting for the son promised by God, and then having to send his first born son away. God is telling Abraham to take the only son he has left and to sacrifice him. What? Can you imagine what that must have felt like? How could this be?
God had said that this was the son of promise and that he would multiply his seed to make a great many people. What would Abraham do? Would he continue to trust the Lord knowing his promises were true even though this seemed again impossible? Or would he disobey or question the Lord? Let us read further.
3. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7. 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?
Isaac the lad doesn’t understand what is happening. He knows that for a burnt offering there must be a lamb, but there they are, going to make this offering and there is no animal. He questions his father about this. Oh what must have been happening in the heart of Abraham as they walked along together to the place where God had told him to go.
8. And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Abraham couldn’t see the future, he didn’t know exactly how, or when, but he knew in his heart of hearts that God had promised to make a great nation from this son and he believed even when it looked impossible. He knew that God would some how, some way be true to his promise. He knew that God is most powerful and he was able to provide himself a lamb. Praise the LORD!!! They walked on together and Abraham held tight to the promises of God when he had nothing else to hold on to. We can do the same, even when we can’t see how God will deliver, still we can know that he will and we can hang on tight to that promise! Praise HIM! God will provide himself a lamb!!!
9. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
Did Abraham love his son? YES! He loved him very much. However, Abraham knew that obeying the Lord was more important than anything else in the world.
Abraham knew that he must do as God commanded and that God would make a way. He knew that God would deliver him some way. He surrendered to God fully and was willing to do anything God commanded him to do knowing that God would never have him to do anything that would not work out for good. God did not want Isaac to die, but he was testing Abraham and his faith in him. God knew the outcome, he knew that Abraham would obey. Perhaps this test was a lesson for Abraham, perhaps a lesson for Isaac, perhaps God knew that many would come after who would need example of obedience and just how God would deliver and provide himself a lamb…just perhaps God wanted to show his great love to Abraham, Isaac, and to all those that would read and hear of this test. How amazing our God is. O there is none like HIM! He is to be exalted above all others!
11. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12. 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.
13. 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. 14. 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. 15. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16. And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17. That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 19. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
Again, God had made good on his promises just as HE always will forever! God provided himself a lamb just in time. We do not have to worry. We can trust our Lord. God will never ask you to do something unless he provides a way. We know that it is not God’s will for us to kill anyone. God commanded us not to kill in the commandments.
Mark 10:19 “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.” (see also Matthew 5:21; Luke 18:20)
God knew the outcome and knew that Isaac would not be killed. God used this to test Abraham’s obedience and trust in Him and to show that HE will always provide. Just as God provided for Abraham and Isaac, He has and will provide for us. We can trust our Father. He will provide Himself a Lamb. Praise HIM!
1 Corinthians 10:13 “ There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Reminder: Remember to love and serve others this week in the attitude of Christ.
Dear Righteous Heavenly Father,
We come to you today in the name of Jesus, thanking you for who you are and knowing that there is none like you. There is none more powerful or loving than you. We praise you for all you are and all you do. We thank you for always providing for us the times when we fail to see it and for the times when we do. We thank you for always knowing what we are in need of and blessing us with those things. We thank you and praise you that your promises are always true. We ask you today, will you please help us to always remember that and to always trust and obey you no matter how hard it seems to our human minds or how impossible the outcome may seem. Remind us that You are Almighty and that your word is life and truth and what you say will be. We thank you that you are the faithful one and we ask that you help us to be faithful to you. Father, we desire to be as you would have us to be. We desire to know you and to understand your ways. We love you and will always give you the praise, glory, and honor that is due to you. Thank you for your many blessings and for your love, mercy, and grace. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will do. Thank you for watching over us and our loved ones and protecting us. Thank you for your Son JESUS and the gift of salvation. We ask that you will continue to protect us and to help us to walk in your ways and to do as you would have us to do. Help us to be led by your Holy Spirit and to touch your heart and to touch the heart of others with the message of You. We love you LORD and we praise you forever. In the lovely name of Jesus we pray… Amen.
April 3, 2016