Tag Archive for Isaac

Personal Encounters in Genesis

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Genesis 4:1-15

The book of Genesis begins with Adam and runs through Joseph. In that span of time, consider the various people to whom God revealed Himself in a personal way.

  • Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:27-30; 3:8-19) – Even though they had disobeyed God and rejected His wisdom, He spoke to them person-to-person, revealing not only judgment but eventual salvation.
  • Cain (Genesis 4:2b-15) – Cain was a murderer, yet God conversed with him, listened to him, and acted to meet his concerns.
  • Noah (Genesis 6:7-14) – In a day when the human race had gone entirely wrong, God was pleased with Noah and saved our entire race on account of him and through him.
  • Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-9) – Abraham’s story takes up chapters 11-25. What an amazing odyssey of tested faith and gracious blessing!
  • Hagar (Genesis 16:7-13) – Hagar was an Egyptian slave who had run away from problems she had helped cause. Yet the living God came to her personally in her darkest moment.
  • Rebekah (Genesis 25:21-23) – When she became concerned about her unborn twins, God gave her a glimpse of the larger drama in which she was playing a part.
  • Isaac (Genesis 26:1-6) – God assured Isaac that as He had been with his father Abraham, He would be with him as well. God’s promises would prove sure generation after generation.
  • Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22) – Like Hagar above, Jacob was running from family problems he had helped to create. But God met Him personally in a way that would shape his entire life.

These encounters paint a picture of an Almighty God who delights to introduce Himself to all types of people, one-on-one. He reveals His wisdom for their situations, speaking demands and promises, comfort and challenge, providing both details and overall perspective. But the most striking aspect of His revelations is not the information He imparts, but the stunning reality of His presence. We human beings are given the great privilege of interacting with the Creator God person-to-person.

Abraham’s Sacrifice

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Genesis 22:1-19

I am deeply challenged by the faith of Abraham. What raced through his mind when God told him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering? What filled his thoughts and emotions?

  • Surely he thought of his son’s face, his eyes, his mannerisms; how he looked when he slept; his simple, unquestioning trust in his father.
  • How could he possibly tell Sarah? She had endured so much for so long to finally get this child as a precious gift from God. How could he take Isaac from her?
  • Without Isaac, how could God ever fulfill His promise to make his descendants as the sands of the sea?
  • How could he do it? How could he plunge the knife into his son’s chest? How could he light his body on fire?

But Abraham didn’t let his own fears or desires stop his obedience to God. He didn’t let the concerns of those around him affect his decision. Whether he understood or not, He would obey Almighty God because he feared Him and trusted Him.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:17-19, NIV)

For all of us, our greatest testing comes from those blessings that are dearest to us. In fact, it seems that every new blessing from God comes with new challenges as well. Those challenges are part of the blessing, for they exercise our faith. That faith is the substance of our relationship with the unseen God, and that relationship is the most precious gift in all creation. Our loving Father will do anything to strengthen His bond with us and draw us closer to Himself.

God stopped Abraham’s sacrifice at the last moment. It became only a foreshadowing, a dress rehearsal for another Father who would sacrifice His only Son on a nearby hill centuries later.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Genesis 22
Printed Music & Lyrics