Genesis

Genesis 22 - Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah - Part 1

 

The greatest SACRIFICE in the Old Testament was when Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his only beloved son, Isaac. This was the high point of faith in the Old-Testament, and the most significant event in the Drama of Redemption leading up to the Death and Resurrection of Christ. It provided a great picture of how God the Father would provide eternal Salvation for us by offering up His beloved Son, Jesus Christ as a Sacrifice for us. Moreover, by looking at this story of Abraham and Isaac, we will be able to discover where Jesus was actually crucified, buried and resurrected!

Genesis 22:1: “Now it came to pass after these things, that God tested (proved) Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!"
And he (Abraham) said, "Here I am."

Genesis 22:2: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac,
whom you love, and go to the LAND of MORIAH,
and offer him (‘lift him up’) THERE for a burnt offering,
on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”

God wanted Abraham to give his best back to God. This was the ultimate test. How he loved Isaac, the product of a lifetime of prayers and faith! Isaac means ‘laughter’ for his supernatural birth brought him and Sarah much joy. Isaac was his happiness. It was through Isaac, that God’s promises to Abraham would be fulfilled. He loved

him more than life - he was God’s greatest gift to him.
Wrapped up in Isaac were all his hopes, dreams and his destiny. God had provided Isaac, but now he was to offer him back to God.

This is also the first use of the word ‘test’ (‘prove’) in the Bible, showing us that God searches and proves us to see if we will put Him first. A TEST reveals whether our first love and loyalty is to God;
if we would give back to Him our best.

* Are we prepared to give up our ‘Isaac’ - the thing that is most precious to us, our blessing from the Lord?
* Do we love God, or our Isaac more?
* Do we love the Giver more than His gifts, or have our blessings become too important to us - displacing God in our life?
* Is our faith in God, or in our Isaac?
* Do we love and trust God absolutely and unconditionally, even if it goes against our common sense and natural desires?
* Do we believe God knows best?

We are not to cling onto what God gives us, and put it before Him - but be ready and willing to sacrifice it, if He asks us to (whether it be a person, thing or a ministry), as He asked Abraham to offer up Isaac. We must deny self and go through a death of how we think things ought to be, and offer all it up to God. Then He can trust us with more blessing, for our heart will be purified in giving it to God. A burnt offering represents a consecration of our life to God, acknowledging we belong to God and give ourselves back to Him, for His consuming holy fire to fill us.

Now God does not ask us to do something that He is not willing to do for us. In this story, Abraham is a picture of the Father God, and Isaac is a Type of His beloved Son, who obeyed the Father and voluntarily laid down his life as a sacrifice for us. The language used: “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love” is designed to point beyond this incident to something greater God would do in the future in offering up His beloved Son.

In v2 is also the first use of the word for ‘love.’ Surprisingly, it is the love between a Father and Son. The love between Father Abraham and Isaac is a Picture of the Eternal Love in the Godhead between the FATHER and His Only begotten SON, Jesus Christ. Thus this Scripture reveals the fount of all love, the deepest love.

Jesus said: “Father, you loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). The first use of the word LOVE in each Gospel also agrees with this, with Matthew, Mark and Luke recording the Father saying at His Baptism: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, and John’s first mention of LOVE is the words of Jesus in John 3:16: “For God (the Father) so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son (to die for us), that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have Eternal Life.”


Even though the Father loved His Son, He was willing to offer Him up as a Sacrifice FOR US, and for our Salvation, to die for us, and the Son consented. That is how much God loves us! This was the drama that Abraham acted out with his son Isaac. God chose him to be a demonstration of what God would do for us. This story is a REVELATION of GOD’S GREAT LOVE for us, shown by His GIVING His only beloved SON to die for us.

Because this was to be a Picture of our Redemption in Christ, not just any Mountain would do, it had to be a specific Mount, for on that very same Mount God would offer His Son up to die. Abraham offered up Isaac on Mount Moriah, the exact same Mount where 2,000 years later the Father offered up His Son to die for us!

Genesis 22:2: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the Land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering, on one of the Mountains (of Moriah) which I will tell you of.”

Abraham was to go to the Land of Moriah. ‘Moriah’ means the place where God as chosen to reveal or manifest Himself. It is the place of the Lord’s Provision or Manifestation. The ‘Land of Moriah’ is the area around Jerusalem. The specific Mount in Jerusalem, where God told Abraham to offer up Isaac is called Mount Moriah. We know this because later in Genesis 22:14, Abraham named it as such, saying: “Abraham called the name of the place, ‘The Lord will Provide’ as it is said to this day, "The Mount where the Lord is seen.” This is equivalent to Moriah.

Since God would offer His Son on a specific Mount, so must Abraham on the same Mount, so that the Shadow truly reflects, reveals and prepares the way for the Substance.

So if the Bible reveals the location of Mount Moriah, we will also know the place of Christ’s Death and Resurrection. In fact, the Bible clearly identifies which Mountain of Jerusalem it is.

Abraham came from Beersheba, about 50 miles to the South. So, approaching Jerusalem from the South, he would have seen 3 Hills and 3 Valleys, forming the shape of a Hebrew letter: ‘Shin’ (like our ‘W’) - see the pictures opposite. It is the first letter of ‘Shalom’, which means ‘Peace.’ Remember Jeru-shalem means: ‘City of Peace.’ Its name is written in its very Topography.

The Valley surrounding Jerusalem on the South, going round to the West is the Valley of Hinnom, the Valley on the east side is the Valley of Jehoshaphat, more commonly called the Kidron Valley, and the central Valley (mostly filled in today) is the Tyropeon Valley. At the bottom where all the Valleys meet is where the Pool of Siloam is located. Because of the Crusaders the Western Hill is now called Mt. Zion, but that is not its Biblical name. The Eastern Hill is the Mt. of Olives. But it is the Central Hill that is Mount Moriah. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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