Hebrews 11:17-19 ESV By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, (18) of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (19) He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
As we have seen in earlier studies, true worship requires...
(1) Walking hand-in-hand daily with God,
(2) Dealing correctly with sin,
(3) Bringing an acceptable sacrifice before the Lord and,
(4) Walking in total obedience.
Of course we cannot separate true worship from faith. It takes faith in a Holy God to walk out all four of these requirements for true worship. Even though Abraham was to sacrifice his only son, he stood on faith that God would raise him from the dead to fulfill His covenant promises.
This is the type of worship many believers are totally unfamiliar with. Abraham told his servants that he and Isaac were going up to worship and that they would both return. Remember, this is the first time the word "worship" is used in the Bible.
It is worth mentioning that although animal sacrifice was the means of a blood covering for the sins of the people, it is totally out of God’s character to demand a human sacrifice, unless He were teaching us something. Isaac was a “type,” or a “shadow” of the New Testament substance, of Christ and the cross. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the only HUMAN sacrifice that the Father approved of.
What He asked of Abraham was a test of Abraham’s “fear” or “Awe” of God. It was the most costly sacrifice asked for by God as a means to worship in the Old Testament. It was a perfect picture of the Father giving up His only Son that we may walk daily with Him.
Obedience is a measuring tool of our “fear,” or reverence for God.
Genesis 22:12 ESV 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.”
We find David here on this same mount many years later when he purchases the threshing floor. Hear David’s words as he refused to offer a sacrifice that cost him nothing…
1 Chronicles 21:24 ESV But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
Genesis 22:1-2 ESV After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” (2) He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
What is Abraham to do in obedience to God in Gen.22:1-18? It was a 45 mile walk to Mt. Moriah, which is about a 3 days journey. The name of Moriah has many meanings. Knowing that God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the Mount, it would be good to look at some of the meanings.
Mount Moriah means,
“Jah” (a name for God),
What a word! Abraham has been called to walk in total obedience and holiness.
Abraham is seen as an intercessor and a prophet. After waiting for 20 years he has become the Father of the “child of promise.” He now has his own son, someone of great worth, who God is going to use to test Abraham's spiritual character. The statement “Thine only son” was the only one born of Sarah, and heir of the promise. The statement “Whom thou lovest,” shows how a child captures the affections of a parent’s heart.
Abraham must have felt the outward struggle between God's command to sacrifice his son, and God's promise that in Isaac the world would be blessed. Many times we might miss the will and plans of the Father because in our mind they don't make sense and it would seem that one thing would cancel out the other.
In faith Abraham believed that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead. When the moment came Isaac made no resistance to his father’s will. The binding with the rope was a sacrificial custom and really was not needed to restrain Isaac. Isaac believed that his father Abraham was obeying the will of God.
This request would be hard for any father, but remember that Isaac was not just another son; he was the “son of promise.” When Abraham laid Isaac on the altar he was sacrificing all that God had promised. He was giving up his vision, his dream, and his future. Abraham laid his whole life and all his life dreams on the altar with his son. True Worship cost something. Genesis 22:5 is the first Bible reference to the word "Worship." One day we will learn that worship has nothing to do with music, but to bow the head, the body, the knees, or to lay before the Father in humility and fear. Not one verse in the Bible about worship is tied to music, a song or a team of musicians. This might be hard, but seek the Word and not your emotions for truth. Remember, true worship is done in Spirit and truth.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.