April 12th, 2022 – Tuesday Afternoon
“Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.” ~Genesis 22:8
Oh, how wonderful it is to know the LORD God Almighty! How awesome are His ways and how rich are His mercies! This is again apparent in this passage, like in so many others. As we jump into this verse today, there are at least two main observations that we can make in relation to it:
First, look at the attitude that Abraham had! He didn’t push back against the LORD’s command and he didn’t sulk because he was being told to give up his precious son; rather, Abraham responded to Isaac’s query (about the lack of an animal to sacrifice) by confidently reassuring him that the LORD would provide the lamb. This brings up two different, yet similarly amazing thought processes: 1. Abraham truly believed that God was going to provide a replacement animal (in place of Isaac); or, 2. Abraham had completely surrendered Isaac into the LORD’s hands (as the God-provided lamb). Either way, Abraham was fully prepared to offer Isaac on an altar as a burnt offering (Hebrews 11:17-19 provides a bit more information pointing to Abraham’s faith). Regardless of what exactly he was thinking in his response to Isaac’s question, it is clear that Abraham was completely confident in the LORD’s promises and that he was entirely trusting Him and His will. Wow!
Second, God did provide that lamb – then and now. Then, it was a ram caught in a thicket that Abraham offered to the LORD as a burnt offering (after the LORD stopped him from offering Isaac). Now, God has provided the perfect, spotless “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. In His mercy He entrusted Abraham with Isaac twice, and in His grace He allowed that ram to get caught in the exact place of Abraham’s altar. Similarly, in His mercy He has given us the opportunity to live twice, and in His grace He poured out the wrath we deserve (and most certainly will get apart from believing in Him) upon His own son. Isaac was delivered from death and his life was substituted with a ram; Jesus was delivered to death and His life was poured out as the atoning Paschal Lamb.
What ought we to take away from this passage? First, let us have the faith that Abraham had; he believed God and was obedient to Him, regardless of the cost. Abraham rested in the reality that the LORD is God, that He is always sovereign, and that He will always do what is right. Second, let us rejoice and respond with exuberance to the fact that God has provided the Lamb necessary for our atonement and subsequent reconciliation to Himself! Let us turn from ourselves and our sin and proclaim the praises of Him who died and rose again!