In Genesis 22, God demands that Abraham offer up his only son as a sacrifice for his family’s sin. Abraham heard the Word of God and obeyed because God’s Word proved trustworthy. While this story may seem extreme to those of us in the West, this is actually a story of the wages of sin—the wages of sin is death. It’s also a story of radical grace as God provides a ram to be offered as a substitute sacrifice in Isaac’s place. How can we know we’re hearing from God? His trustworthy Word. How can we know that God is good? He is just—he won’t just look at sin and sweep it under the rug. How can we know that God loves us? He is so just and holy that he will not overlook sin but at the same time so loving and gracious that he won’t abandon us to the death we deserve, so he provides a sacrifice for our sin so that we may be forgiven. This story is all about Jesus, the greater Isaac. Isaac was an only son who was saved by a substitute sacrifice for his sin, whereas Jesus was the only Son who saved by becoming a substitute for our sin.
Genesis 22:1-14 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.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. 9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 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.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? Was there anything new? Was there anything confusing?
2. What stands out to you in Genesis 22 and why?
3. We hear from God chiefly through the Bible, his written word. In which part of your life do you feel you most need to hear from God? Help point one another to certain verses in the Bible to help one another hear the truth of God concerning their situation.
4. Many people look at the story of Abraham and Isaac and say it reveals that God is not good and not loving. How do we see clearly in this story that God is good? How do we see in this story that God is loving? How does the cross of Jesus reveal God’s goodness and God’s grace at the same time?
5. How is the truth of God’s infinite goodness and God’s extravagant grace changing the way you think, feel, and live day to day?
6. Spend some time praying for one another, praying for the lost, praying for your city, and praying for God to provide for the future church plant in Checotah.
If Isaac ever wondered if God was good or if God loved him, he needed but look toward the mountain. On the mountain, Isaac saw that God is so just that he won’t overlook sin, but so loving that he provided a substitute sacrifice for sin.
If you ever wonder if God is good or if God loves you, you need but look to the cross. On the cross, God’s infinite goodness and extravagant grace are on display in the death of Jesus for our sins. We know God is good and God loves us. The proof is the cross.