PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 22
Theme: Mature Faith
Key Text: Verse 8


            This is not the first trial Abraham has faced. His faith has been developed in crisis after crisis. However, this is the ultimate trial. This is the great crucible of his life. His response to the test revealed that his faith was “much more precious than gold” (1 Pet. 1:7). To use the words of the Hebrew letter, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (Heb.11:17). In every facet of the trial, the attributes of mature faith are evident.


1. The Pursuits Of Mature Faith
            When the Lord told Abraham to “offer” Isaac “for a burnt offering” (22:2), this obedient servant of the Lord did not hesitate to do His bidding. Neither did he question the Lord’s demand. Rather, in pursuit of the divine, he “rose up early in the morning” (22:3) and began his journey. Nothing would hinder his compliance with the heavenly orders. The “young men” and the “ass” were left at the foot of the mountain (22:5). Isaac was reassured with the proclamation of an unwavering faith, “My son, God will provide!” (22:8). Because Abraham’s heart was prepared to seek the Lord, He was prepared to offer Isaac.

2. The Provisions Of Mature Faith
            With his son upon the altar and the knife within his hand, Abraham experienced the wonder of Divine intervention. When the angel of the Lord instructed him, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing to him” (22:12), the father of faith turned “and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns” (22:13). How marvelous are God’s provisions! They are always exactly what we need and are provided exactly when we need them! Isaac on the altar represents the need. The ram in the thicket portrays the divine supply. And, in God’s perfect timing, the supply takes care of the need! With Abraham, we jubilantly cry, “Jehovah-jireh!” (22:14).


3. The Projections Of Mature Faith
            In the light of mature faith, all the shadows in this scene are removed and the picture takes on a new appearance. The mountain seems to look like Calvary. The altar and the wood remind us of the old rugged cross. Although Isaac has always resembled Christ, he portrays Him here as in no other setting. In his submission and obedience unto death, we cannot see Isaac for seeing Jesus! Even as Abraham and Isaac come back down the mountain on their way home (see 22:19), we catch a glimpse of our resurrected Lord! The idea set forth is that Christ is always the reflection of spiritual maturity! Oh, may we perceive this blessed truth!


            When children are brought into the family, friends and others begin comparing them to either their mother or their father. Of course, everyone has a different opinion. However, as children grow older, the likenesses are more distinct. In the same way, as we develop spiritually, as faith manifests maturity in our daily lives, we become more like Christ. As the Apostle Paul explains, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image (Christ’s likeness) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).”