Sunday, March 30

Lessons from Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac

At Quest the recently, we continued looking the pictures we can get of what God intends for the relationship between God and people to look like. This time, we looked at Genesis 22, where Abraham is asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. Here is some of what we talked about learning from that story:

· God wants to be the top priority in our lives. There are times that he will test us to determine if other things are more important to us than God is. Isaac was the son that God had promised Abraham, and it is obvious that Isaac was the most important thing on earth in Abraham’s life. God put Abraham in a position to have to choose between God and Isaac. We can see the same thing in the story of the Rich Young Ruler from Matthew 19:16-30. In that case, Jesus asked the man to choose between God and money, but in this case he couldn’t leave behind his money. I think that God will continue to test his followers to see if God is more important to us than anything else, including things like family, relationships and money.

· We God tells us to do something, we should go. Abraham didn’t wait around, or try to convince God to change his mind. God told him to go, so Abraham packed up that night and left in the morning.

· God wants us to have faith in him. Abraham knew that God had promised that Isaac was going to be his heir and that it would be Isaac’s line would be the one that God would bless. Yet here is God telling Abraham to go kill his son. Even though Abraham didn’t understand why God was telling him to do this, he still had faith and trust in God. In fact, Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us that Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead.

· If we have faith, God will provide for us. When Abraham raised the knife to sacrifice Isaac, God stopped him and provided a ram for the sacrifice instead. Abraham knew that Isaac was the child promised by God, and he had faith that God would find a way for that to still happen, even though he didn’t see it. God responded by providing a way.

· We can also see a parallel between this story about Abraham and Isaac and with what God will do with Jesus. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for the sake of God. Similarly, in the New Testament, we see that God is willing to sacrifice his son Jesus for the sake of people. In both cases, the willingness to sacrifice demonstrates the depth of the love that is intended to exist between God and people.

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