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GENESIS 22

ISAAC, A TYPE OF CHRIST

BUT EVEN MORE SO, ABRAHAM, A TYPE OF GOD THE FATHER!

 

Study this great Text with us! You will worship and love our Saviour all the more!

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1 ... VERSE 1:

It's one of the greatest chapters in the Old Testament, Genesis 22. Describing Abraham's offering of Isaac, it symbolically presents the Death of Jesus with amazing accuracy.

However, one of its first "problems" centers around its opening statement. "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am." Genesis 22:1

God "tempted" Abraham?

Yes!

"Nasah," the Hebrew verb used here, just means "to test, try or prove" something. It is used 36 times in the Bible. In verse one "nasah" is framed as a "piel" verb, expressing intense action! God is really testing Abraham!

God's Name here is "Elohiym," the Mighty God of Scripture. It is spelled "God," capital "G" and then the lower case letters "o" and "d." This is different from the spelling of Jehovah, God's other Main Name, Old Testament wise anyway.

The name "Abraham" means "father of a multitude."

Our verse today lays the foundation for the ensuing events, the trip to Moriah and the sacrifice, blood sacrifice, there.

But a little phrase has caught me eye, "after these things."

After "what things?"

Of course we are not specifically told, but likely this gives us the basis for God's "tempting" or "trying" Abraham.

When the devil "tempts" he is trying to do harm.

When God "tests" He is planning to do good.

The devil tempts us to make us sin.

God tests us to keep us further away from sin.

The devil tempts to destroy.

God tests to build!

Why is God testing Abraham?

Perhaps some of the following scenes will help us gain perspective.

In Genesis 12 Abraham lies about his wife Sarai, asking her to risk her very morality to keep Abraham safe!

In Genesis 20 he pulls the same trick again, with King Abimelech of Gerar. This time Sarah could have been pregnant with Isaac, too! Had something "bad" occurred, the very bloodline of Jesus could have been corrupted!

Twice Abraham has disappointed the Lord. God does not approve of lying. Nor dishonoring one's wife! Forget Sarah's reputation! Her testimony is unimportant! Just Abraham's safety matters! Or so Abraham acted!

Shame on the Patriarch here!

Then, after the sensual Hagar and Ishmael "solution" to a son for the family, Abraham succumbed to Sarah and "kicked" Hagar out of the house! See Genesis 21:10. God allows this to occur, Isaac being the child of promise, but there was a kinder, more gentle way to do it! In fact, God compensated for Abraham's callousness by specially caring for Hagar and the lad.

Next, in Genesis 21:32, Abraham, who was already in covenant relationship with Almighty God, entered into another commitment ... with a heathen king! This alone was a "slap" in God's face!

But, to top them all, Abraham next "planted a grove" in Beersheba! This act is tantamount to preparing for idol worship! Is Abraham here mixing heathenism with the true worship of God? Decide for yourself. "And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days." Genesis 21:33-34

Wow!

After such a string of "failures" and "lapses" of faith, God had every right to "tempt" Abraham!

To see if he was "real" in His love for the Lord!

To see what was most important in his life!

And "test" Abraham God did!

Intensely!

"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."

Of course, as usual, God takes human blemishes and transforms them into tokens of Grace, this "test" being the supreme Old Testament object lesson concerning Jesus' substitutionary death on the Cross!

But Abraham was not perfect in its prelude!

Do not be harsh on God for "testing" or "tempting" His own children! He loves us! And, like Job, we shall "come forth as gold!" See Job 23:10, where Job says of God: "He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 2:

God's command to Abraham was blunt, frightening even!

"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." Genesis 22:2

The verb "take" is the imperative form of "laqach," meaning "to fetch, to seize, to snatch!"

The expression "thine only son" is found three times in Genesis 22 alone, verses 2 and 12 and 16.

The name "Isaac" suggests "laughter." When both Abraham and Sarah heard of the coming birth of Isaac, each being old in age, they "laughed!" See Genesis 17:17 for Abraham. "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" And see Genesis 18:12 for Sarah. "Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

But God's idea of "laughter" was different! To the Almighty more than mere human incredulity was involved! This "laughter" indicated "delight and joy and pleasure!" Isaac would be the son of promise, Romans 9:9.

The land of "Moriah" included a chain of mountains near what is today called the city of Jerusalem. "Moriah," in Hebrew "moriyah" means "God sees!" It blends "raah," a verb meaning "to oversee" and "Yah," God's major Name, only abbreviated.

Many of the older yet godly Bible commentators taught that the "Moriah" of Abraham's day sits in the exact place Calvary, the old rugged Cross, did two thousand years later! Others suggest Moriah is the very place Solomon built the Temple! Either way, it was the place Blood was shed! The Blood of the Lamb!

To "offer" the young man meant slay him and burn the body, its smoke "ascending" into the presence of God! "Alah" is the Hebrew verb for "offer," meaning "to ascend, to go up, to be raised."

The term "burnt offering" is represented by "olah," an obvious relative to "alah" just discussed. In the Old Testament this technical phrase appears nearly 300 times! This is the occasion when ALL the sacrifice is burned, given to God by fire!

Even the number "one," spelled "echad" reflects specificity, a special mountain! Almost as if to say "the one and only!" No other place would have been acceptable!

In Hebrew "mountain" is "har," a shortened form of "harar." It means anything from a hill to a giant peak. It's "root" idea is anything that "looms upward." Isaac is to be offered on such a hill!

Lastly, the verb "tell" is "amar" in its continuous sense, God kept on "saying" to Abraham these instructions. They obviously were both precise, and critically important!

Why so?

Because each of these steps symbolizes and typifies another Son, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Watch!

Jesus, in one sense, was "taken" to the Cross! Read Peter's sermon in Acts 2:23, preaching to the guilty Jews of his day, Pharisees and chief priests especially! "Him (Jesus), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." Jesus, like Isaac, was "taken" to the Cross!

On the other hand, of course, both Jesus and Isaac willingly went to that place of sacrifice!

Jesus also is "the only Son" of His Father! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

And understanding "laughter" in its "joyful, delightful, pleasant" sense, Jesus was His Father's Delight indeed! More than once God announced from Heaven: "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7 and Luke 9:35!

Amen!

And, just as Isaac nearly died on Mount Moriah, Jesus fully died there! Very likely, the same exact location!

And like Isaac in symbol, and that soon-to-be-discovered ram caught in the thicket literally, Jesus too was a "burnt offering!" In fact, Jesus was THE fulfillment of all the burnt offering of Old Testament history! He is the anti-type of them all!

And Isaac, that young man's "offering," which means "going up" if you remember, is but a preview of what Jesus really did on Calvary. Jesus died with His Father in view! He died unto God! He died to satisfy God's righteousness! He died with God the Father in mind, as well as lost sinners!

Jesus' Death was principally pointed "upward," thus obtaining "propitiation" for our sins!

That's why on the Cross Jesus kept talking to His Father in Heaven! "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Luke 23:34

And Matthew 27:46. "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

And even Luke 23:46. "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."

Upward!

I hope you see it today!

Apart from being a "picture" of Jesus sacrificial Death, substitutionary Death, Isaac's ordeal here is meaningless!

But, with our Lord in mind, it is more than beautiful!

And, be sure of this, Abraham and Isaac DID have our Lord in mind as they enacted this great drama before the eyes of multitudes!

Praise the Lord!

What a Saviour we have!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSES 3 AND 4:

One godly Preacher said Genesis 22 is the clearest "type" of Jesus' Crucifixion as exists in the entire Old Testament. It may be!

Two "prophecies" excel this chapter, I believe. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are sermons excellent, unsurpassed on Calvary!

Best to say God uses all Scripture to depict our dear Saviour! Each chapter and verse adding a "brush stroke" of beauty to the developing portrait!

For example, Genesis 22:3-4. "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off."

Several "nuggets" here need to be mined. The expression "to rise up early" is a translation of one Hebrew verb, "shakam." It is related to the word for "shoulder," spelled "shekem." Perhaps because when one breaks camp early in the day, dismantling his tent and equipment, physical exertion is required, including the shoulders. Work is involved, hard work!

But, more than that, rising early indicates something needs immediate attention! Something important! If Isaac's situation here is a "picture" of Jesus' Death on Calvary, we here need to remember than God also "rose early," so to speak, to plan this epochal Event.

Jesus' Death had been planned, no, foreordained, long long ago! In the early morning hours of human history! Really, before that! "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." To 1st Peter 1:19-20 here add Acts 2:23, which says: "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."

Next notice that Abraham took "two men" with them. As far as we're told, no more people are present. Two young men accompany Isaac to the mountain. Now it's true that these men do not go all the way to the place of the altar, but nonetheless, they go most of the journey. I see here more "hints" of Jesus' Death on the Cross. There He too was flanked by two men! "Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left." Matthew 27:38. Neither did they go with Jesus all the way to His Goal! They died first, not fully knowing the agony our Lord endured on that terrible Tree! No one knows, but God the Father!

Also Abraham the Father prepared the wood for the sacrifice! The verb "clave" really means "to split or chop," in Hebrew "baqa." In like manner our Heavenly Father, in love for us sinners, grew the very Tree on which Jesus died! Why emphasize the tree? Because the Bible does! "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." To Paul here in Galatians 3:13 Peter preached: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Acts 5:29

The "place," note that. "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." Genesis 22:3 calls Moriah a "place." God is a God of "place!" Truthfully, right now, this very second, He is in all places! Everywhere! "Omni-present," the theologians call Him! Yes, This altar is to be put in a specific "place!" Calvary was a "place." Where you were saved is a "place." The empty tomb is a "place." Heaven is a "place! So is Hell a "place!" These facts of God are not merely imaginative mirages! They are real! They have substance! They exist! They possess "location!" No wonder Paul could say, "Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:27

Then into verse 4 we journey today. "Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off."

"Three days" on the trip! If you recall, the Passover lamb had to be examined several days before being slain, Exodus 12:36. Four days, to be exact. Isaac, in like manner, is plainly visible to the Father and those two young men, no blemish being mentioned at all! Jesus too was "three" years in public ministry, prior to the Cross of Calvary! No spot or stain there for sure!

Lastly, Abraham "saw" the Place afar off! "Raah" means "to see" for sure, but in the sense of "inspecting and considering and carefully regarding" something. Also the time sense of this verb suggests continuous action. This loving Father could not keep his eyes off that place! So does our God and Father regard Golgotha's Hill!

Everything so far in our Text has a parallel with Jesus' vicarious Death on the Cross! Truly, Calvary is the lens through which Genesis 22 must be viewed! Otherwise, all kinds of distortions will appear. Like the scoffers who here see "child sacrifice." Such a thing did NOT occur! They also see "parental abuse!" They actually say this! No! Isaac was not harmed! The ram was! But God the Father certainly "harmed" His only Son, that we might be saved! One skeptic sees here the impetus for all the "suicide bombings" that are occurring now throughout the world! Talk about the blind leading the blind!

Here's what Abraham "saw," according to Hebrews 11:17-19: "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." He saw the death, burial and resurrection! Plus, Galatians 3:8 literally says that: "God ... preached before the gospel unto Abraham." Read it!

It all depends on one's eyesight!

Maybe that's why the Psalmist prayed unto the Lord: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalm 119:18

Amen!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSES 5 AND 6:

The 5th verse of Genesis 22 is absolutely astounding! "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."

Just as Moses could not take a crowd up Mount Sinai and Jesus limited those who saw His Transfiguration ... so no one but Abraham and Isaac could be present at the impending "sacrifice." Again, "I and the lad will go yonder."

At Calvary, where Jesus died, technically, for three long hours, those miraculous hours of God-induced Darkness, only Two were present! God the Father and God the Son. And even then, God the Father "forsook" His Son for reasons probably still beyond our comprehension.

No crowds allowed!

Too Holy!

Too intimate!

Too costly!

Too horrific!

Then Verse 5 uses a major Bible word, one found around 108 times in both Testaments, "worship!"

At an impending "death scene," as far as we know, Abraham and Isaac plan to worship! "Shachah" means "to bow down, to stoop, to fall down" before a person! If God is in view, such prostration is worship indeed!

We're standing on holy ground here!

But here's the majesty of our verse. Two servants stay behind with the pack animal, worship is being planned, and blood sacrifice is to be offered ... then "I and the lad will come again  to you!"

Wow!

Abraham fully believed that even if he had to slay his only son, Isaac, shedding his life blood if God so required, EVEN SO, GOD WOULD RAISE THE LAD FROM THE DEAD AND HE AND DADDY WOULD WALK BACK DOWN THAT MOUNTAIN TOGETHER!

Let no one ever again doubt that Abraham is a man of faith!

Isaac too, if imbued with Abraham's strong belief, would have willingly laid down his life, KNOWING THAT DEATH WOULD ONLY HAVE BEEN MOMENTARY, RESURRECTION TO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW!

"We're coming down that mountain!"

It's all a "signpost," pointing us to the Cross, Jesus' Burial and subsequent glorious literal Resurrection!

Glory to God!

I keep wanting to add this verse. "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

Enough said on that subject!

Now to Verse 6, "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together."

The noun "wood" is "etzs" in Hebrew, meaning "tree, timber, plank, gallows, stick," all made of such material. And "Cross" we might add.

The verb "laid" is "sum," of course meaning "placed upon" someone, but also implying "to appoint, to ordain, to determine!"

The wood on  Isaac is a "type" or "symbol" of the Cross being placed on Jesus' shoulder! Apparently our Lord was so weak, a man named Simon was compelled to help carry the wood!

The "fire" is likely a symbol of God's holiness, His displeasure at rebellious unconfessed sin! Jesus suffered God's wrath on Calvary, wrath we deserved instead!

The "knife" may indicate another sacrificial rite. Often the victim was cut into pieces, at times just two pieces, but often more. Then both participating parties in the "covenant" that's being ratified would walk between the two bloody pieces of flesh, bonding the two for the rest of their lives!

Abraham and Isaac going "together" implies perfect harmony and unity, each being willing to do his assigned job to fulfill God's Plan!

Announcement: God and Jesus were also in perfect union at the Cross! They were not at odds with Each Other! Both did His Part to procure our redemption!

What a God!

What a Plan!

What a Saviour!

This has helped me today!

And I'm the one who wrote it, sort of, anyway! I do feel the Lord has helped me for sure.

Let's all now take a minute and do something "Abrahamic" ... WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD, OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, AND HIS SON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, GOD INCARNATE!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSES 7 AND 8:

The dialogue is obvious!

"And Isaac spake ...."

"And Abraham said ...."

"And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together." Genesis 22:7-8

Communion, as it were, between the Father and the Son, sacrifice being the subject!

If Isaac here is a picture of Jesus, and Abraham of God the Father, their cooperation being so very apparent, surely the truth of 1st Peter 1:21 is being illustrated! "... Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." That "foreordination" service must have been awesome! What conversation! What love!

One of the greatest questions of all history is posed in today's Text. "Where is the lamb?"

That's Jesus, the paschal Lamb!

Jesus, the Lamb of Calvary!

He was in Eden!

He was at Passover!

He's in Isaiah 53 also!

John the Baptist saw Him! "Behold the Lamb of God!" John 1:29 is too good to abbreviate! "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

And he's certainly in Revelation, many times, over two dozen!

But, most of all, the Lamb was on the Cross, providing salvation for poor lost souls!

Soon Isaac will know that he is the lamb!

Jesus always knew that He was, and still is!

John, from Glory, saw Him! "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain." Revelation 5:6 reveals the slain lamb ... standing! He been raised from the dead! He's alive, for evermore!

Abraham answered his only son, "God will provide himself a lamb." What gloriously freighted words!

Talk about double meanings, triple perhaps!

"God will provide," that clause, translates "Jehovah raah" in Hebrew. When fused, this is God's great Name "Jehovah-jireh." It means, "God sees!" God this time "provided" a substitute, a ram instead of a son! And Isaac lived!

God next time, the time that counted, at Calvary, "spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." Romans 8:32

In the truest sense of the words, "God did provide HIMSELF a Lamb!" God the Son died for our justification!

God also provided the innocent ram who is soon to appear in the narrative, it dying so Isaac might be freed!

Twice the expression "burnt offering" occurs in our Text. In English we sometimes use a synonym here, "holocaust." In Greek "holo" just means "whole." And "kaustos" means "burnt." Wholly consumed! That's exactly what happened to the "burnt offering!"

On the Cross of Calvary Jesus gave His ALL! He also paid ALL our sin debt! He too has become our ALL, an omnipotently sufficient Saviour!

This chapter, Genesis 22, is giving us an opportunity to view the Atonement, Jesus' vicarious Death, in an unusual manner!

We're gleaning doctrine from typology, but doctrine that's elsewhere taught in Scripture as well.

What a beautiful Saviour we worship!

Glory to His Name!

He still provides!

Jehovahjireh!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSES 9 AND 10:

The Chapter continues ... "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 emphasis here, at least in verse 9, seems to be on Isaac. He quietly stands by while his Father builds an altar. The noun used here, "mizbeach," means "a place of slaughter." The verb "zabach" means "to kill, slay, or sacrifice."

By the way, Abraham built one, an altar, nearly everywhere he went. See Genesis 12:7 and 8, two different incidents. Then again in Genesis 13:18.  Plus here in Genesis 22:9. And Genesis 26:25 as well. He indeed was a man who worshipped his God!

The truth is this; no altar, no blood, no sacrifice ... then no fellowship with Almighty God!

See the amazing submissiveness of Isaac!

So quiet!

Ready to do his Father's will!

A picture of Jesus, of course!

Next, Isaac was "bound." Uniquely, "aqad," in its particular form here, is only used this one time in all the Bible! This is a singularly special "binding!" None like it!

The Cross of Calvary is the most important event in all history! It's the epochal, pivotal fulcrum of time and eternity!

Jesus was "nailed" to the Cross, what a tortuous form of "binding!"

And just as Isaac "was laid" on the altar, so were our sins "laid" on Jesus! See Isaiah 53:6. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Lastly today, we see the startling truth of verse 10. "And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."

Within a second of being slain by his Father! The verb "stretched forth" is suggestive. "Shalach" often means "to send away, to cast out, to depart, even to divorce!" And the noun "hand" is simply "yad," but metaphorically it can be used of Jesus. For example, in Isaiah 53:1 Jesus is called God's "Arm!"

Thus, here in verse 10 we see a "hint" of the alienation, the separation, Calvary caused ... between the Father and the Son! "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

The death of Isaac, his God ordained sacrifice, had it been allowed to occur, would have happened at the hand of Abraham himself!

So it is with Jesus' Death!

The Romans could not have killed Him, not really!

He is God!

Nor could the Pharisees or Scribes or Chief Priests, no mater how badly they wanted to do so!

Even our sins are not that great, had God the Father not been willing to allow His only begotten Son to die!

Jesus was "smitten of God," slain by His Own Father! On our behalf! To forgive us of our sins!

"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4

Again in Isaiah 53:10. "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; he hath put him to grief." Bruised of God the Father! The verb "daka" means "crushed!"

Jesus suffered God's judgment against sin ... was the recipient of God's very wrath ... so that we might be saved!

He appeased God's holy Anger so we might stand in God's Eyes today, justified and accepted and loved! At Peace with God ... because Jesus suffered in my place!

Again, today's verses, read them with that beautiful double meaning. ""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

Glory to God!

How can we not love and worship the dear Lord Jesus today?

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSES 11 AND 12:

Today our Lesson covers Genesis 22:11-12, part of the continuing story of Abraham and Isaac, yonder on Mount Moriah.

"And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." Genesis 22:11-12

Theologically through the years we fundamentalists have believed that "the angel of the Lord" was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, just in a pre-incarnate Form.

He has already appeared in Genesis, ministering to a forsaken Hagar, future Mother to Ishmael.

If we're right in our interpretation, the Second Person of the Trinity just halted Isaac's sure execution! Sacrifice, better worded.

Jesus halted mine too, eternal death in Hell!

And notice the "double" calling of Abraham's name! The Lord does that at certain intense times, critically important teaching moments!

"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things." Luke 10:41

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." Luke 22:31

"Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Acts 9:4

If you remember, back in verse 1 we were told that God was "tempting" Abraham here, "testing" him really.

Well, he passed the exam!

God says, "Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."

The Father was willing to sacrifice his only son!

But God provided a substitute!

The verb "withheld" is interesting. "Chasak" means "to spare." Abraham is traditionally, historically, known for his faith! It's easy to see why!

Abraham's boy was spared!

But God, "spared not his own Son." Romans 8:32

What Isaac did symbolically, Jesus did literally!

Died that we might be saved!

Today at Church, tell Him you love Him!

Express to Him in some way how precious He is to you!

Evaluate Him, brag on Him, honor Him, praise Him!

In other words, ascribe to Him great WORTH!

As you do, grammatically and etymologically and, most of all, spiritually, you will be at worship ... adoring your Saviour and Lord, Christ Jesus, God the Son!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSES 13 AND 14:

It's called "substitution."

"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." Genesis 22:13-14

The significance of the Hebrew verb "raah" is aptly seen here. "Looked," it's translated. Yet in our Text "lifting up" one's eyes already means "to look!" But the first action is merely a glance. While "looking," really looking, involves more deliberation and study! Concentration!

Abraham carefully noted that caught ram!

Isaac's substitute!

Provided by God!

Where else could it have originated?

Even "behold," in Hebrew "hen," means "to see!" Being an interjection, drama and pathos and excitement are involved too!

Talk about something being the center of attention!

The ram!

"Uplifted eyes!"

"Looking incessantly!"

"Beholding passionately!"

This is the same spirit in which John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29

The "ram," spelled "ayil," is behind Abraham too. Not in his natural line of sight! He had to "turn around" to see it! This is surely a symbol of repentance! Of changing direction! "Repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15

Then, more about the ram: "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns ..."

The ram is "caught," using the verb "achaz," meaning "seized, grasped, possessed!" This strong verb illustrates the necessity of the Cross of Calvary! Jesus obligated Himself to die for our sins! Yes, it was an obligation of love, but nonetheless a decree from Jehovah God as well, a pre-creation covenant! John 3:14, among several other verses, tells us: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

Maybe "thicket" illustrates the point even more clearly. "Sebak" means a place that's so "interwoven" escape is unlikely. At Calvary, the Romans had arrested Jesus. The Jews, most of the Pharisees and Chief Priests and Scribes, had determined His Death too! Our sins, if ever to be forgiven, required such an atonement too! Plus, now the deciding factor, God the Father had ordained it!

What an interwoven plot!

Caught, fastened by his "horns" too. "Qeren" means "horns" 75 times in the Bible and also means "hill" one time! Both apply to Jesus! In this sense, He died, laying down his life a ransom, on a hill called Calvary. And, just like the ram, our Lord was unblemished in appearance! Had the ram been caught any other way, the resulting cuts and gashes and wounds would have disqualified it from being an acceptable substitute!

The sacrificial animal, in Jewish Law, from the very first  Passover, had to quality! "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep ...." Genesis 12:5

That's also why not one bone of Jesus could have been broken on Calvary! Unblemished!

Oh, by the way, "ayil" or "ram" in Hebrew can very easily mean "strong one, chief, leader, mighty one" as well!

Jesus again!

Of course, immediately obeying God's command, "And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son." Our Text, Genesis 22:13, the last half.

Beautiful!

"Went" just means "to walk," in Hebrew "yalak."

"To take" is "laqach," indicating "grasping, fetching, laying hold of," that kind of action.

Can't you just see it happening?

Both the terms "offering up" and "burnt offering," although being a verb and noun respectively, stream from the same root word! They look like this: "alah" followed by "olah." It means "to go up, to ascend, to withdraw, to climb," picturing graphically the fact that God the Father, in Heaven, is the Recipient of the real meaning of the Cross! He's the One to be impressed, satisfied, pleased, placated! The smoke and fragrance of the Offering "ascend" to our Almighty, Omniscient God!

Then we come to the beautiful phrase "in the stead of," in Hebrew just "tachath." It means "underneath, beneath, instead of, in the place of," substitutionary atonement!

"Vicarious" atonement, He died for me!

It's root, "toach," means "lowly!"

Lowly!

Reminds me of Paul's inspired Poem: "Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Colossians 2:5-8

In our stead!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, VERSES 15-18:

God always rewards obedience!

Abraham, having been willing to sacrifice his only son, will now provide us a clear example of such multiple blessings.

"And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." Genesis 22:15-18

The Triune God is so evident, even in the Old Testament!

Listen to God in Genesis 1:26. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ...." One God, yet Triune!

In our Paragraph today both (1) "the Angel of the Lord," one of the Titles Jesus uses in His "before-Bethlehem" days, and (2) the "LORD" Himself speak! And God says ... "Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee ...."

Wow!

God the Second Person (Jesus) and God the First Person (The Father) participate in this short burst of blessing!

Where's the Holy Spirit?

Who do you think wrote the account?

He, as always, is in the background, gently exalting the Saviour! That's what Genesis 22 is all about anyway, the Lord Jesus dying on Calvary that we might be saved!

The verb "swear" literally means "to seven" oneself! To say something seven times! Then "shaba" comes to mean "to promise, to make an oath, to adjure." God means business here, as always! After all, He cannot lie! "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." Titus 1:2

Both the noun "blessing" and the verb "to bless" originate in the Hebrew word "barak," meaning "to salute, to congratulate, to kneel!" God is acknowledging Abraham's faith!

In such an important matter, too! A "type" of Jesus' Death, His substitutionary Death on the Cross!

God is specific about His blessings upon Abraham here.

They involve offspring, children and grandchildren and descendents eternally, innumerably! Word for word again: "In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore ...."

The verb "multiply" is "rabah," that is, "to increase, to make greater, to enlarge, to be abundant."

Through Isaac, countless children are coming!

Literally this happened to the Israelites, to the Jews. Isaac and Rebekah were the parents of Jacob. Jacob fathered twelve sons! The progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel! Hundreds of thousands, now millions, of people, precious people!

But spiritually too, Isaac, a "picture" of Jesus here, alludes to the fact that, because of Calvary, Jesus also has seed! Born-again children! Blood-washed followers!

Back in Isaiah 53 we see such a thing promised! Read Verse 10 with me. Look for the word "seed" now. "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand."

Amen!

We who are saved are among those "seed!"

God rewarded Jesus' Obedience on the Cross!

By giving Him a Bride!

The Church!

The Body of Christ!

Glory to God!

He saved us ... for Jesus' Sake!

"Even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

We are "accepted" ... but only "in the Beloved," Jesus!

"Wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Ephesians 1:6

Next, God promises "protection!"

Abraham, "And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies."

Yes!

Both the Jews literally and the saints of God spiritually have enjoyed victory through the years! In fact, we are "more than conquerors" Paul says!

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:37

Safe ... for ever!

The battle may rage ... the outcome is assured!

We are "overcomers" in Jesus!

Because of the Cross, the Blood, the Saviour!

Lastly, today, "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

All nations indeed have been "blessed" through the Cross of Jesus!

Nowhere has the News not reached!

In a yet future day, the scope of the preached Word is described in glowing, successful terms! "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Revelation 5:9-10

All nations ... blessed!

That's why we were to, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" in the first place! Mark 16:15

An old Preacher, a long time in Heaven now, wrote a Book of Sermons and called it "The Glories Of The Cross."

I'd like to preach a series and call them ... "The Blessings Of The Cross!" Except, that series could never end!

We shall enjoy for all eternity such manifold blessings!

Because of Jesus!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, VERSE 19:

Abraham and Isaac have concluded their time on Mount Moriah.

Isaac is alive. The ram is dead. Abraham has obeyed. God is pleased. And time has come to go back home!

So, Genesis 22:19, adds: "So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba."

Coming down the mountain, Abraham joins his two "helpers," actually "young men" according to the King James Text.

They return to the city of Beersheba, which means "the well of the oath." That's the first city mentioned after this graphic picture of the Cross of Calvary!

A "beer" in Hebrew, as in "Beer-sheba," pronounced "be-ar," with the accent on the second syllable, just means a "well." Reminds me of Isaiah 12:3. "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Remember this Genesis 22 context!

And "sheba" literally means "to seven" something! The idea of an oath or promise or vow comes from a commitment an individual makes by saying something seven times! That's the basis of legally "swearing" in the Hebrew culture.

But is Calvary, Jesus' vicarious Death there, really any kind of promise or oath or covenant?

Yes!

Yes indeed!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16, the "giving" described therein, was accomplished on the old rugged Cross two thousand years ago!

Salvation is a covenant!

A promise!

A sure word from God!

Headed to Beersheba!

Christian friend, after you are saved, spend the rest of your life in spiritual Beersheba!

Drinking from the wells of salvation!

Living on the promises of God!

Promises like: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

Or: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10

But, one more thing today.

Abraham is said to come down the Mount.

Where's Isaac?

We know he is alive!

But he's not mentioned!

"So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba." Our Verse today, Genesis 22:19

We all know Isaac probably did walk down those slopes with his Father, but the Bible deliberately omits his presence.

As far as Scripture is concerned, Isaac is left up on that Hill, at the Cross!

He is not mentioned again Biblically until Genesis 24:4, two chapters later!

Wow!

Now, watch the context in which his name is again introduced! Abraham is instructing his servant, unnamed at this point: "Thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac." Genesis 24:4

A bride for Isaac!

Then, when we next actually see Isaac, "And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel." Genesis 24:62-64 presents Isaac, three times!

Now a wedding is to be held ... soon!

From Mount Moriah ... to receiving His Bride!

With a silent "gap" in between!

Jesus was last on this earth at Calvary, on Mount Moriah by the way!

He next will be here, returning in the air, to get a Bride, His pure Bride, the New Testament Church!

Just like Isaac!

And He, our Lord, has not been seen, not literally seen, in the "between" time either!

Oh, did you notice a "well" is also present in the Isaac brief we just read?

"Lahairoi" means "the Living One Who sees me!"

Even from Mount Moriah, even from the Cross, Jesus sees His soon-coming Resurrection and the "seed" who will be saved as a result of His precious shed Blood!

Isaiah, tell us. "Then thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." Isaiah 53:10

Jesus, the next time we see You ... we'll all be headed to the Wedding! That is, all who are genuinely saved!

The world and the liberals and the modernists can attack Genesis 22 all they wish!

I will love that portion of Scripture and promote it and honor it and preach it as long as God gives me breath!

"And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Galatians 3:8

In fact, if you hear Brother Bagwell anytime soon, you just might get this Text! It is truly a 4,000 year old Picture of Calvary!

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

I am thankful the Lord led us to study Genesis 22, the "offering" of Isaac! What a glorious Picture of the Cross of Calvary it presents! How can we not love Jesus more, especially after such a journey to Mount Moriah?

 

 

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