Genesis 22: Final Exams

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 22 at
  • God will often allow a problem to persist but sooner or later the problem will become an issue of import that must be resolved
    • Abraham had been commanded to leave his land and family in the beginning
      • took years to separate from his father and only happened because of death
      • didn’t leave Lot until forced to because of strife
      • Tried to make Ishmael his heir
  • God has brought Abraham to the point where he must choose – his faith or his family
  • While God tests men to prove their godly character as saints, He never solicits them to sin
  • Remember God sacrificed his only son for us
    • God did not require Abraham to do anything that He, Himself, would not do
    • Abraham foreshadowed what God would do with Jesus centuries later
  • Abraham’s willingness to give up his only son humanly illustrated the love of God for man, which caused Him to give His only son
  • The agony of the heart of Abraham reflected the heart of the Father at the suffering of His son
  • The obedience of Isaac typified the submission of the son to the will of the father
  • God halted the sacrifice of Isaac for two reasons
    • such a sacrifice would have no benefit for others
    • Abraham’s faith was evidenced in his intentions to carry out the will of God
  • We may find ourselves asking why Abraham interceded on behalf of Sodom and Gomorah but not his son Isaac
    • we must remember that the scriptures are selective, choosing to omit what is not important to the development of the argument of the passage
    • Here we know God was to indicate where to sacrifice and that Abraham went to that spot, but we are not told of the events of revealing his plan
  • It is our final response that matters, not our initial reactions. Recording the pleas of Abraham would have done little to inspire us
  • When the sins of the saints are recorded it is only for our instruction. The New Testament views them in the light of God, having forgiven their past errors and focusing on their faith
  • Remember God had promised to produce a nation through Isaac. That is what Abraham’s faith was in
  • Previously God’s promises were made unconditionally but now they are re-stated because Abraham obeyed God in this test
    • God’s choice of Abraham included the blessings (end) and faith and obedience (means)


  • Dealt with problem that had plagued Abraham all his life – unhealthy attachment to family
  • Obedience to will of God justified his profession of faith
    • justified before God by believing the promise of God, and justified before men by his obedience
  • Spiritual growth and deeper insight were results of his obedience
    • times to testing are times of growth
  • His trial prepared him for the future
    • next chapter is death of Sarah
    • Israel was to perceive from this text that sacrifice was substitution

What We Should Learn from Abraham

  • This event is a foreshadow of Jesus and Abraham represents God, Isaac represents Christ, and 3 days journey to the sacrifice represents 3 days for Christ to rise. Isaac was almost sacrificed at the place Jesus would be scarified centuries later – Mount Moriah
  • Importance of obedience for the Christian
  • Christian life is paradoxical. God’s ways are not man’s ways
    • Abraham gained his son by giving him up to God
    • we get ahead in God’s eyes by putting ourselves behind others
    • We lead by serving
    • We save our lives by losing them
  • The Christian life is not lived without reason or rationality
    • Abraham’s was not blind faith he was promised a nation through Isaac and he trusted God to provide that
  • The world likes to believe that it acts upon reason while Christians act without thinking. That is false. There are two kinds of reason: worldy and Godly
  • Christian rational is based upon the reasoning that there is a God and that his word is true and reliable
    • we may not know the why of God’s plan but we knot it is God’s plan and that’s enough
  • God will provide
    • in order to be saved we must see ourselves as lost sinners deserving of God’s eternal wrath. We must forsake any faith in ourselves and the work we can do to earn God’s favor
  • We are called to commit our children to God’s will for their lives

*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis


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