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  • Writer's picturewix expert

Hebrews 11:17-19

17. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19. Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Other than the faith that the Son of God had in his Father, this is perhaps the greatest example of faith in the Bible. Abraham had been asked to act upon his faith in God in extraordinary ways prior to this, but this was absolutely the supreme test of his faith. Isaac was Abraham’s promised son, his only begotten son, the son whose birth had been miraculous, whom he had waited for for many years, and whom he loved with all of his heart.

I once heard that a certain man said that he thought that he might be able to sacrifice his own life for someone else, but that he would never be able to sacrifice his son’s life for anyone else. Yet this was what God was asking of Abraham. The very nature of God’s request must have seemed almost incredible to Abraham.

But there was even more to this strange test of faith. The promises that God had given to Abraham were unique to all of man’s history. They were to impact billions of people in all nations in millennia to come. The Messiah himself was to descend through Isaac. These promises depended upon the life of Abraham’s son and yet God was telling Abraham to offer him up as a burnt sacrifice.

Just as David had been prepared to fight Goliath by his experiences with killing a bear and a lion, so Abraham had been prepared for this test through previous tests of faith (some of which he had failed – but God had not given up on him). Abraham had gotten to a point in his walk with God where he was able to believe that God could raise his son from the dead.

All of this typified God’s offering of his Son for us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

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