By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
Comment: Here God is seen to place an enormous responsibility on Abraham’s shoulders. In obedience to Me, kill the son through whom I have promised to bless you and all nations. It is an issue for a whole ‘sermon’, but let me summarise. It is a picture of what we deserve. As creations of God we deserve death because of our rebellion, both as part of mankind and as individuals, against Him. But in this historical story God provides a substitute for the boy Isaac, a ram, to die in His place. This is a challenging story of Abraham’s obedience in spite of his lack of knowledge of what God is really planning. And you may recall that Jesus was called the ‘Lamb of God’ who died as the sacrifice for our sin, on the Cross. We have read so much of this as we have gone through Hebrews. Isaac’s children were still on the same pilgrimage to the promised land, and Joseph definitely didn’t want his bones to end up in Egypt but in God’s promised land. Years later they were taken there.
Prayer: I don’t want to be gullible, but help me to trust in Your revealed ‘Plan and Way’, O God.