Key Verse: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE of faith in God during Old Testament times was portrayed by Abraham, whose love for and obedience to the Heavenly Father were accounted to him for righteousness. (Gal. 3:6) Over a period of many years, Abraham had various experiences which were designed to develop his confidence in God’s promise to bless the entire human family through his seed. In today’s lesson the Heavenly Father gave instructions that would reveal the depth of Abraham’s character under extraordinary circumstances.
“It came to pass after these things that God did tempt [test] Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 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.”—Gen. 22:1,2
As an immediate response, Abraham arose early the following morning and journeyed with his son, Isaac, and two servants for three days until they had reached the place that God directed him to go. He instructed the young men who accompanied them to remain behind while he went to worship. Abraham, while carrying the knife and the fire, then traveled onward with Isaac, who brought the wood for his own sacrifice.—vss. 3-6
Since he could observe that both the fire and the wood were available, it was very natural for Isaac to inquire of his father, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (vs. 7) Our Key Verse reflects Abraham’s absolute confidence that the entire matter would be overruled by divine providence, as he responded that God would provide the lamb.
It is apparent that Isaac acquiesced fully in the matter since Abraham then built an altar, put the wood in place and bound his son upon it as a sacrifice. As Abraham stretched forth his hand to slay Isaac, a voice from heaven declared God’s approval of this obedience and that no harm should come to his son, but a ram caught in a nearby thicket was to be sacrificed instead. With humble gratitude Abraham then named this location Jehovah-jireh, which signifies “In this place it shall be provided.”—vss. 9-14
Of major importance in considering the details of the foregoing is recognition that here Abraham typifies the Heavenly Father, who offered his only begotten Son to be a sacrifice for the human family. (John 3:16) At the time of Christ’s earthly sojourn when he desired to be baptized, John the Baptist made the following declaration, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29
When the conditions outlined in the fulfillment of the Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” come to pass, there will be eternal rejoicing by the human family. (Matt. 6:10) Then the full scope of blessings from the promise made to Abraham will become a reality. Through the spiritual seed of promise, Christ and the church, the entire world will be blessed. (Gal. 3:16,29; Acts 3:25) What a prospect that will be!