Scripture: “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones,” Hebrews 11:20-22.
Since verse 8 we have been looking at Abraham and his faith with a brief mention of Sarah. Now we come to his son, grandsons and great grandsons. The mention of Isaac was very small. His faith was merely suggested to us in that he did not resist his father when he prepared to sacrifice him at God’s command, even though he was man-big. In this verse 20 his faith is seen again in that he blessed his sons.
I. ISAAC BELIEVED IN ‘THINGS TO COME’.
1. He had an knowledge of things to come. It came from God directly to Isaac (Gen 27:26-40) and he believed God.
2.There was a difference in Isaac’s sons. Jacob was saved, Esau was not. Consider Hebrews 12:16-17. He was a ‘fornicator’ and a ‘profane’ person. He was sinful and an ungodly irreverent man. Furthermore, he cared nothing for his birthright, the blessing of God, but sold it for a ‘morsel of meat’!
3. Isaac had taught both sons the same truth. How many in the family reject the gospel which their siblings believe and divide themselves from the rest of the family!!
Scripture: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure,” Hebrews 11:17-19.
We come to one of the most wonderful examples of FAITH in the Bible – that of Abraham’s readiness to offer up Isaac his only begotten son. It is the crowning moment of his life.
1. THE LORD WAS TESTING ABRAHAM
The word ‘tried’ means ‘to put to the test’. It is often translated ‘tempt’. Just remember: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man,” James 1:13. The Lord never tempts us to sin but He does often try us to see what our reaction will be. He may subject our faith to a trial in order to test its genuineness and strength. See John 6:5-6 for an example.
2. ABRAHAM PASSED THE TEST MOST WONDERFULLY
We are given the thoughts of Abraham in the face of this test.
1. He thought of God’s promises. That is where we must turn when tested or tried.
2. He believed that Isaac was central to God’s great future purpose. What God had said He would do. He would not turn away from making Isaac the fountainhead of a race of believers.
3. He believed that the Lord could raise Isaac up from the dead in order to keep His promise. “Accounting that God was able to raise him up,” verse 19. Nothing is impossible with God!
3. NOTE ABRAHAM’S ABSOLUTE SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL
He ‘offered up Isaac’! In his heart he had come to a decision and had surrendered his son to die. “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. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son,” Genesis 22:9-10.
The whole incident illustrates God’s wonderful salvation.
A. We are all condemned to die for our sins.
B. But God provided a Lamb to take our place.
C. Note how it was caught by its head in thorns, Gen 22:13.
D. It is believed that Mt Moriah (Gen 22:2) was the Temple Mount.