Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 22

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: To Record God's Creation and Identify His Plan (c 1-22)
Theme: The Story of Abraham (c 12-25)
Message: Abraham's Near Sacrifice of Isaac (v 1-24)

Genesis 22 Commentary

(22:1-2) God Tests Abraham - The word tempt, in this context, means "test." God tested Abraham, not to trip him up and watch him fall, but to deepen his capacity to obey God and thus to develop his character. Just as fire refines ore to extract precious metals, God refines us through difficult circumstances. When we are tested, we can complain, or we can try to see how God is stretching us to develop in us the character necessary to be his followers.

(22:3-5) Abraham Obeys God - That morning Abraham began one of the greatest acts of obedience in recorded history. He traveled between 50 and 60 miles to Mount Moriah near the site of Jerusalem. Over the years he had learned many tough lessons about the importance of obeying God. This time his obedience was prompt and complete. Obeying God is often a struggle because it may mean giving up something we truly want. We should not expect our obedience to God to be easy or to come naturally; rather, it is often our struggles to obey that drive us to pray more and depend on him.

(22:6) Abraham Prepares to Obey =  We don't know how Abraham carried the fire. Perhaps he carried live coals or a flint to start a fire. 

(22:7-8) A Bigger Picture - Why did God ask Abraham to perform human sacrifice? It wasn't unusual for pagan nations to practice human sacrifice, but God would later condemn this as a terrible sin (Leviticus 20:1-5). God did not want Isaac to die, but he wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart so it would be clear that Abraham loved God more than he loved his promised and long-awaited son. God was testing Abraham. The purpose of testing is to strengthen our character and deepen our commitment to God and his perfect timing. Through this difficult experience, Abraham strengthened his commitment to obey God. He also learned about God's ability to provide.

(22:12) A Loving Sacrifice -  It is difficult to let go of what we deeply love. What could be more proper than to love your only child? Yet when we do give to God what he asks, he returns to us far more than we could dream. The spiritual benefits of his blessings far outweigh our sacrifices. Have you withheld your love, your children, Or your time from him? Surrender them to him, and trust him to provide (22:8).

(22:13) A Picture of the Cross - Notice the parallel between the ram offered on the altar as a substitute for Isaac and Christ offered on the cross as a substitute for us. Whereas God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, God did not spare his own Son, Jesus, from dying on the cross. If Jesus had lived, the rest of humankind would have died. God sent his only Son to die for us so that we could be spared from the eternal death we deserve and instead receive eternal life (John 3:16).

(22:15-18) God Blesses Abraham's Obedience - Abraham received abundant blessings because he listened to God and complied with his instructions. God promised to give Abraham's descendants the ability to conquer their enemies. In addition, God promised Abraham children and grandchildren who would in turn bless the whole earth. People's lives would be changed as a result of knowing of the faith of Abraham and his descendants. We often think of blessings as gifts that we will enjoy. But when God blesses us, he wants us to let his blessings overflow to others--today and into eternity.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Passing the Test

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 22, and in today's text, we see how the Lord shows Abraham in chapter 21 that He fulfills His promise with the gift of Isaac. In Chapter 22, we see God putting Abraham to a test of his faith. As you read, you see God telling Abraham to go and sacrifice this gift. What would Abraham do? In the past, Abraham would not trust the Lord and try to do things independently as he did with Hagar. He would fail under pressure in the past, as he did when he lied about Sarah. What would Abraham do this time with Isaac? The Lord gives Abraham this test, as he did in the past, but this time he passes. Abraham truly has faith in the Lord, and the Lord provides a sacrifice after seeing Abraham's faith. In making applications, we, too, are put to the test regarding our faith. The Lord allows situations and circumstances to happen to us to expose our hearts. When we fail our test, the Lord gives us instructions for correction, but the Lord loves us enough to give us the test again until we pass. The Lord provided the ram and sacrifice in Abraham's life, and He gives the gift in our life if we trust Him. How about you? Do you see these tests in your life? Have you failed the test? Do you understand that faith in the Lord is the key to passing the test? If so, trust God and let Him provide the sacrifice for your situation in your life. Then walk in victory, having faith in the Lord. 


Genesis 22

Genesis 22

 1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

 3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

 4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

 5And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

 6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

 7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

 8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

 9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

 10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

 11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

 12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

 13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

 14And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

 15And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

 16And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

 17That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

 18And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

 19So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

 20And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;

 21Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,

 22And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.

 23And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.

 24And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.


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