Abraham Sacrifices Isaac (Genesis 22)

Abraham Study Guide (Week 13)

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

Abraham said, God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. So they went both of them together. (Genesis 22:8)

He said, Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. (Genesis 22:12)

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:39)

OPENING THOUGHT

Last week, the Abraham finally saw the fulfillment of God’s promise. When God first called Abraham at the age of seventy-five, He promised to give Abraham and Sarah a son. This was joyous news for the barren couple, so Abraham trusted God and followed Him. Then God kept Abraham waiting for twenty-five years. But even after Sarah was physically unable to have children and after numerous sins of Abraham, God was still faithful to fulfill His promise. Through a great miracle, God gave Abraham and Sarah a son. He gave them Isaac.

But on the coattails of such happiness comes today’s chapter. Here, God brings Abraham into the ultimate test: giving Isaac back to God. The LORD appears to Abraham and commands Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. Amazingly, Abraham obeys. He journeys upon the mountains and prepares to kill his beloved son in order to obey God. Fortunately, God intervenes, claiming that Abraham passed the test. Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, God knew that Abraham truly feared the LORD.

This chapter is by the greatest trial that Abraham ever faced. His twenty-five year wait, his war against kings to rescue Lot, his walk of blind faith, were nothing compared to the difficulty of trusting the LORD in this task. However, by this, we learn that Abraham truly is a man of faith. He did not understand why God commanded him to do this or what God was going to teach him through this. But still he trusted that God would be enough for Him. Abraham understood that God had given him Isaac; therefore, God also had the right to take Isaac back.

Read verses 1-2 and discuss the following.

  • After finally giving Abraham his promised son, God now appears to Abraham, commanding that he offer Isaac as a sacrifice. We are told later that God did this in order to make sure that Abraham still feared Him, essentially making sure that Abraham did not value Isaac above God. Is it wrong of God to demand that we love Him more than anything or anyone else? Why not?

Read verses 3-10 and discuss the following.

  • Abraham’s response to this unthinkable command is obedience. Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed that God would give Isaac back to him, even if that meant raising Isaac from the dead. How does this reveal the depth of Abraham’s faith? Why is faith without works dead?

Read verses 11-14 and discuss the following. 

  • God sends an angel to stop Abraham before he can kill Isaac. But even though Isaac was spared, Abraham still displayed a willingness to give up his own son for God. How does this point to the Father giving up Christ for our sake?

Read verses 15-24 and discuss the following.  

  • Following Abraham’s obedience, God once again renews His promises to Abraham and to his descendants. Abraham then hears about the family of his brother. How do both of these events assure Abraham that God will care for Isaac and his descendants after Abraham’s death?

ACTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Just as Abraham was willing to entrust his son to God, consider your most valued people or possessions and whether you would be willing to surrender them to God if He demanded.
  • Think about the great love that God has shown to us by not sparing His Son and about how belief in this good news has shaped your life.
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