Part two from this post
I have no doubt that Abraham felt intense shock, dismay and confusion at God’s request that he offer Isaac as a sacrifice.
Genesis 22:2 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.
I am equally convinced that Abraham immediately set his heart to obey God in His request, as verse 3 of Genesis chapter 22 tells us that “Abraham rose up early in the morning… and went unto the place of which God had told him”.
So, was it that Abraham cared little for Isaac? No, for God, who knows the very heart of a man, tells us that Abraham loved Isaac; “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest,”. Why then would Abraham seem so compliant, so willing to offer up his only son? This son whom God promised, and Abraham waited for for 25 years…
The reason reveals itself when we begin to understand that Abraham beheld God, and more importantly- God’s will, in the proper perspective.
Beginning in Genesis 12 we read the twenty-five year account of God revealing Himself to Abraham, whilst also enabling Abraham to come to see his own sinful, fallen nature. Notice:
God calls Abram out from the place where he was. That is, God approaches Abram; God reaches for Abram, not the other way around. Abram does respond but only partially. Rather than forsaking all and fleeing the Ur of the Chaldees to enter into Canaan, Abram carries his father, Terah and leaves the Ur of Chaldees but stops short of Canaan and dwells in Haran until the death of Terah.
Abram is in dialog with God! The CREATOR God has revealed Himself to Abram and is personally intervening in his life by promising to give him the land. Altars are being built, praise and worship are occurring. Abram immediately “gets it all together” and everything is wonderful from this point on. Right?
In fact we see Abram showing lack of faith, doubt, fear, lying and even causing his wife to lie.
Yet, little by little as we continue to read we see God working in Abram. Chipping off a part here, polishing an piece there. Step by step God is speaking to Abram, showing him the way things are, promising better things to come. God brings Abram to a place where he can call upon the name of the Lord (13:4) and then God separates Abram from Lot, setting Abram apart. It is here that we see the beginnings of the great and precious promises being offered.
It is here also that we come to the event God uses to bring Abram’s perspective of God and His will into proper focus. For is it with the separation of Lot from Abram that allows for the capture of Lot in chapter 14 by the kings that make war with Sodom and Gomorrah. We read that Abram takes men and rescues all that was captured, the goods, the women, and the people.
Now notice, it is after this battle that Abram calls upon God with a new name (14:22). “the LORD, the Most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth”. God has revealed more of His nature to Abram through this conflict and Abram has entered into a greater submission unto God- for that is the KEY.
For God to work in our lives we must submit to His Will. Notice that Abram responds to God with yet another name immediately following the previous in chapter 15; “And Abram said, Lord GOD…”, Abram calls God Adonai- meaning MASTER, OWNER.
Abram has come to see God as the Most High God, Possessor of EVERYTHING including ABRAM. And with this knowledge Abram submits himself humbly and obediently to God.
And it is at this place that God can say to Abram;
Genesis 15:1 After 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.
And verse 6 tells us that Abram believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. And further still we see in verse 18 that God now makes a covenant with Abram.
God called unto Abram, and spoke to him, interceding and intervening into his life; Abram answered in a half-hearted way. But it was not until Abram allowed God to take His rightful place as the Most High God of his life, and fully submitted to His Lordship that God could become his shield and reward and that covenant could be established.
But… Do we not read further that Abram continues to make mistakes? Doesn’t he even lie again about his wife being his sister?
Yes he does. And that takes us into the truest meaning of our topic and why God is so AWESOME and WONDERFUL to reveal Himself by the name/title Yahweh Jireh, or Jehovah Jireh.
More to follow here.