The Offering of Isaac

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 22:1-19

INTRODUCTION:  Several approaches are possible with this lesson.  You may want to emphasize the doctrinal approach in which the offering of Isaac is a wonderful type of the sacrifice of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.  Or, you might approach the lesson from the standpoint of Abraham and his faith in the Lord.  You might even go back over his life and review the growth of his faith through the years.  A third approach, especially good for teaching children, would be to consider the viewpoint of Isaac.  He obviously submitted to his father and trusted him.  Isaac is certainly an example of an obedient child. Yet, all of these approaches emphasize surrender and sacrifice.  You might do well to consider what it means to be truly surrendered to the Lord.

  1. THE PERSON TO BE OFFERED (Genesis 22:1-2)
    1. God Did Tempt Abraham (Genesis 22:1a).
      1. God tempts no man to sin (James 1:13-15).
      2. Abraham’s temptation was a trial of his faith (Hebrews 11:17; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
    2. Abraham Was Available to God’s Call (Genesis 22:1b).
      1. Demonstrated by Jacob (Genesis 31:11; Genesis 46:2)
      2. Demonstrated by Moses (Exodus 3:4)
      3. Demonstrated by Samuel (1 Samuel 3:5-8)
      4. Demonstrated by Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8)
    3. God’s Command Was a Most Difficult One (Genesis 22:2).
      1. The time of the command – take now
      2. The son’s involvement in the command
        1. Take your only son Isaac.
          1. Abraham had also had Ishmael.
          2. However, Ishmael was a son of the flesh and Isaac was the son of promise (see Galatians 4:22-31).
          3. Also, Ishmael had been rejected and cast out (Genesis 21:12-14).
          4. Isaac is therefore Abraham’s only son (Genesis 22:12).
        2. Whom thou lovest
      3. The place of the command - Go to the land of Moriah
        1. Mount Moriah was later to be the location of Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1).
        2. Tradition places the temple on the same spot as the offering of Isaac.
        3. Certainly, they were in the same area.
      4. The sacrifice involved in the command
        1. Offer your son for a burnt offering.
        2. How could Abraham do this?
        3. Hebrews tells us that he was so sure of God’s promise that his seed would be through Isaac, that he figured that God would raise him from the dead after he was killed (Hebrews 11:17-19).
  2. THE PREPARATION FOR THE OFFERING (Genesis 22:3-6)
    1. The Obedience of Abraham (Genesis 22:3)
      1. Abraham’s obedience appears to be immediate. (Note: We are not specifically told of the time as to when Abraham was told, but it would appear that his obedience follows the next morning.)
      2. Abraham’s obedience includes the material for the sacrifice.
      3. Abraham’s obedience includes going to the place of God’s choice.
    2. The Day of Resurrection (Genesis 22:4) –the third day (Exodus 19:11; Esther 5:1-2; Hosea 6:2; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 27:62-65; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
    3. The Faith of Abraham (Genesis 22:5)
      1. “I and the lad will go…and come again.”
      2. This language declares that both Abraham and Isaac would go up, and both Abraham and Isaac would come again.
    4. The Elements of the Offering (Genesis 22:6)
      1. The wood
      2. The sacrifice – Isaac
      3. The fire
      4. A knife
  3. THE PROVISION OF THE OFFERING (Genesis 22:7-14)
    1. The Problem of Provision (Genesis 22:7)
      1. Isaac’s question - “but where is the lamb?”
      2. Isaac’s concern – the very fact that Isaac questions his father about the items required for the sacrifice demonstrates his desire to offer a proper sacrifice to God.
    2. The Promise of Provision (Genesis 22:8)
      1. Abraham’s faith in God - “God will provide himself a lamb.”
      2. Isaac’s faith in his father and in God – “so they went both of them together.”
      3. The promise of God’s provision for a lamb (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29-36; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6, 12)
    3. The Unflinching Obedience of Abraham (Genesis 22:9-10)
      1. Abraham’s preparation for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:9)
      2. Abraham’s willingness to complete the sacrifice (Genesis 22:10)
    4. The Provision of the Substitute (Genesis 22:11-13)
      1. The continued availability of Abraham (Genesis 22:11; cp. Genesis 22:1)
      2. The praise of the Lord (Genesis 22:12) – “I know that thou fearest God.”
      3. The substitution of the ram (Genesis 22:13) – “in the stead of his son”
    5. The Name of That Place (Genesis 22:14)
      1. Jehovah-jireh – the LORD who sees
      2. Refers to the fact that God will see the need and will provide the necessary solution as He provided the ram for Abraham’s offering
      3. Prophetically points to the sacrifice of the Messiah.
  4. THE PROMISE BECAUSE OF THE OFFERING (Genesis 22:15-19)
    1. The Second Call from Heaven (Genesis 22:15)
    2. The Oath of the Lord (Genesis 22:16) –He swore by himself (Isaiah 45:23; Hebrews 6:13-14).
    3. The Promise Made to Abraham (Genesis 22:17-18)
      1. The multiplying of his seed (Genesis 22:17a)
        1. As the stars of the heaven
        2. As the sand of the sea shore
      2. The possession of the gate of his enemies (Genesis 22:17b)
      3. The blessing of all nations in his seed (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:14-18)
    4. Abraham Goes to Beersheba (Genesis 22:19).

CONCLUSION:  Notice how God blessed the faith and sacrifice of Abraham.  God provided the ram because Abraham did not withhold his only son from Him (Genesis 22:12-13).  He blessed Abraham because he obeyed His voice (Genesis 22:18).  What might God do in our lives if we would obey Him entirely?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:7

A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.