And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.…
I. THAT WE ARE OFTEN EXPOSED TO GREAT TRIALS WITHOUT ANY REASON BEING ASSIGNED FOR THEIR INFLICTION.
II. THAT EVEN IN OUR SEVEREST TRIALS, IN THE VERY CRISIS AND AGONY OF OUR CHASTISEMENT, WE HAVE HOPE IN THE DELIVERING MERCY OF GOD (vers. 5, 8). It is often so in human life; the inward contradicts the outward. Faith substitutes a greater fact for a small one. "You will get better," we say to the patient, when perhaps we mean that he will be healed with immortality; and when we meet him in heaven, he will tell us that we were right when we said he would live.
III. THAT WE ARE OFTEN MADE TO FEEL THE UTTERMOST BITTERNESS OF A TRIAL IN ITS FORETELLING AND ANTICIPATION. Sudden calamities are nothing compared with the lingering death which some men have to die.
IV. THAT FILIAL OBEDIENCE ON OUR PART HAS EVER BEEN FOLLOWED BY SPECIAL TOKENS OF GOD'S APPROVAL (ver. 16). More than mere Hebrew redundancy of language in the promise. It reads like a river full to overflow. "Because thou hast done this thing," &c. I call upon you to witness whether you yourselves have not, in appropriate degrees, realized this same overflowing, and all-comforting blessing of God, in return for your filial obedience.
V. OTHER POINTS OF COINCIDENCE as between the old experience and the new will occur on reading the text, such as —
1. The unconscious aggravations of our suffering made by inquiries such as Isaac's (ver. 7).
2. The wonderfulness of the escapes which are often made for us by Divine Providence (ver. 13).
3. The sanctification of special places by sweet and holy memories of deliverance and unexpected joy (ver. 14).
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.