Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
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.CHAPTER 22 The Testing of Abraham
1. God’s command (Genesis 22:1-2)
2. Abraham’s obedience (Genesis 22:3-6)
3. Isaac’s question and Abraham’s answer (Genesis 22:7-8)
4. Isaac upon the altar (Genesis 22:9-10)
5. The interference from above (Genesis 22:11-12)
6. Jehovah-jireh (Genesis 22:13-14)
7. The second message and Abraham’s return (Genesis 22:15-19)
8. Nahor’s offspring (Genesis 22:20-24)
God now tested Abraham. True faith has to be tested; it is an evidence that there is faith when tests come upon the believer. God knew Abraham, and when the proper moment had come in his life, God spake the words to him by which he was to be tested. What a test it was! That promised son, that beloved one to take him and to slay him upon an altar! Reason might have said, God promised this son, he was given by God’s own power, all my hope and expectation center in him; how can God demand him to be slain? But faith does not question God’s Word, and has no “why?” to ask of God. Such faith was manifested by Abraham when in the beginning God told him to go out of his land, to a land that He would show him. He went out in faith and knew not whither he went. But God brought him to the land. He knew God’s faithfulness. And now once more he is asked to go out, to the land of Moriah to an unknown mountain, and to take his beloved son along to give him up. Was his heart really all for God? Does he love Him and depend on Him supremely? Would he be willing to part with the only one and give him up? This is the test. The record shows there was not a moment’s hesitation on Abraham’s side. No word escaped from his lips. The only answer which he gave to God was that he rose up early in the morning and began at once the journey with Isaac. What an obedience it was!
What a word of faith it was when he said, “Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you.” Hebrews 11:17-19 gives us the secret of it.
We behold them going together, Isaac now carrying the wood. Abraham laid the wood upon him. An old Hebrew exposition of Genesis paraphrases this by saying “he laid the wood upon him in the form of a cross.” And only once does Isaac speak asking for the lamb. To which Abraham replied, “My son, God Himself will provide a lamb for a burnt offering.” Then they go together, and Isaac opened not his mouth again “like a lamb led to slaughter.” He allows himself to be bound upon the altar. He had absolute confidence in his father and is willing to be slain by him; there was no struggle to be free. He is obedient to his father Abraham, even obedient unto death. The typical meaning of the event is as simple as it is precious. Isaac is the type of that “Only Begotten.” In Abraham we behold “the Father,” who spared not His only begotten Son, but delivered Him up for us all. But how great the contrast! God gave Him, the Son of His love for a sinful, rebellious world. And when the hour came and the Son was nailed upon the wood there was no hand to stay. He was led to slaughter like a lamb and opened not His mouth; and then we hear Him cry, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” God’s hand was upon Him and He, the Holy One, was smitten by God. This is the Lamb God Himself has provided; “the ransom” He has found, typified also by the ram caught in the thicket. And in the angel of Jehovah, He Himself was present upon the scene, knowing all that which He would do and suffer, when the appointed time had come. How wonderful is His written Word! And we touch in these brief notes but a little of the foreshadowings and truths revealed in this chapter. The binding of Isaac upon the altar and the taking from the altar foreshadow the death and resurrection of Christ.
“Jehovah-jireh,” the Lord has seen, is the great foundation. From that provision, the gift of His Son and His obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, flows forth the great redemption: Jehovah-Rophecah (Exodus 15:26), the Lord thy healer, is next. Then follow Jehovah Nissi, the Lord my banner, (victory Ex. 17); Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah is peace (Judges 6:24); Jehovah Roi, Jehovah, my shepherd (Psalm 23:1); Jehovah Zidkenu, Jehovah our righteousness Jeremiah 23:5-6); Jehovah Shamma, Jehovah is there (Ezekiel 48:35).