Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
God spent more time in this chapter with the example of Abraham than He did any other person. God obviously wants us to pay attention to the faith that Abraham exercised. As we have mentioned before, God showed us in the book of Genesis the failures of Abraham, as well as his successes. Here, God is not burying the failures, but is focussing in on the blessings that Abraham received because of his obedience. Every honest saved person will understand that we all sin. Lost people often lie about their sins. Recently a young boy was asked if he ever told a lie. He responded with “no”. He just told another lie when he said that. According to God’s Word, it is expected that a lost person will sin because they have a sin nature. In the context of what we are looking at, we also know that saved people sin. However, the difference is that God forgives His children when they confess their sin and when God forgives the sin, He forgets the sin. There are still consequences that are triggered because of the sin, but the sin if forgiven and forgotten.
Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
That is one of the great blessings of being truly saved. The born again Christian does not need to carry guilt around with him or her. They are forgiven at salvation and after salvation, when they sin, God forgives the saint that confesses their sin, seeking His forgiveness.
We see in our text, that after God blessed Abraham and Sara with that promised son, He tested Abraham. Abraham needed to know the imperative of trusting God at all times. Abraham waited until he was 100 years old before God blessed him with that promised son. The Bible tells us that Abraham was past the age of reproductive ability. He had one son of promise and one son of the flesh. God had already told him that Ishmael would in no way be the heir to the promises that God gave Abraham. Yet in Genesis 22 we read the account of God testing Abraham regarding his only son, Isaac. God commanded Abraham to take his only son and go to the place that He would choose, and offer him up before the Lord.
This passage does not lay the ground work for modern day “child dedication” services. This was a one time event that we see was used of God as a picture for Abraham of something of much greater significance.
God told Abraham to offer his son as a burnt offering. He was to kill his son as part of that sacrifice. This was a very serious matter. This was something that God hated and condemned. However, Abraham trusted God to do something unique in this situation. He told his young men:
Genesis 22:5 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.
Abraham trusted that God was able to raise up his son again. There was no precedent set in the Bible that Abraham could look to for this faith. What he had was a God Who does not lie and he chose to trust Him explicitly. God had been teaching Abraham for some time now of His faithfulness.
Verse 18 reminds us that Abraham was well aware of the promise that God had made to him. He knew that Isaac was the seed through whom He would continue to fulfil His promise to Abraham.
In verse 19 we see that Abraham believed that God had the power to raise up Isaac again from the dead. In his mind, due to his faith in God, he saw nothing else but that he was going to have to slay his son Isaac on the specified altar.
There is a vast difference between what Abraham was doing here and what our politicians did in voting for this ungodly Emergency Measures Act. Those who voted for that evil bill, acted on faith. The problem is that their faith was placed in a wicked man who has proven himself to be a criminal. Due to his position, he has escaped justice on this earth to this point. He has not escaped God’s justice.
Abraham already knew that God is a good God. He already knew that God had protected him from harm when he was sure harm would come to him. He has also exposed Abraham’s sin of lying at least 2 times and had shown those to whom Abraham lied, that lying is not the way forward. As we read in our text, Abraham knew that God could be trusted. His Word was good all the time. Those who are saved need to be trustworthy. When we lie, we need to confess that as sin and learn from that to be more careful in what we say.
Our politicians are known to be liars. They say what they need to say to get elected, but they have no concern about following through on what they have said. Everything they say needs to be taken with a large grain of salt and taken in the light of where they are in the “election” cycle. Currently the premier of Ontario is throwing out “goodies” because he is facing an “election” this year. The man is not fit to lead a dog, let alone a province. We will see how gullible the people of Ontario are.
As we look at our text, we see that following God is never gullible. It is wise for us as people to seek wise counsel on any decision we want to make.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Verse 19 of our text also tells us that Abraham received Isaac back as a figure. Isaac is a figure of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ went to the cross and He laid down His life for us. No one bound Him. No one had the power to bind Him. He laid down His life and shed His blood on that cross for mankind. There is no salvation outside of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on that cross. However, He did not stay in a tomb. He rose again, victorious over sin and death. He is the fulfilment of the type of Isaac. That ram that was prepared by God that particular day as the substitute for Isaac, was also a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He took our place and shed His blood and died in our place. Through Adam, all are dead in trespasses and sins. In Christ, those who are saved are set free and given the gift of eternal life.
God continued to show us that it is wise to know Him and trust in Him. Keep in mind that one of the themes of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus Christ is better. The wise person turns to God in repentance and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. As we have mentioned before, God is shaking things up on this earth at this time. He is seeking to get His children to wake up and follow Him more faithfully. He is also seeking to remind the lost that they are trusting in a crumbling foundation. We need God’s truth in our hearts and we need to humbly follow Him.