Abram is the perfect picture of God’s sovereign grace. God chose Abram, even though He grew up in a pagan home and “worshipped other gods” (Joshua 24:2). The God who sent His Son to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), sought Abram and invited him to travel 700 or 800 hundred miles to a foreign land (Genesis 12:1-3). “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8–9).
Abram, meaning exalted father, was given a new name. “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, ‘I am God Almighty. Live in my presence and be blameless’ ” (Genesis 17:1). God Almighty, El-Shaddai, renamed him Abraham, father of multitudes (Genesis 17:5) and promised, “I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you” (Genesis 17:6). As you know, a year later, one-hundred-year-old Abraham became a father to his first-born son, Isaac. In time, Abraham became the father of multitudes.
Years later, God called Abraham saying, “Abraham! ... Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Genesis 22:1–2). The following morning, Abraham saddled the donkey and set out for Mount Moriah with Isaac and two male servants. Three days elapsed and with every step of that interminable journey, Abraham thought about his son, his only son, the son he loved. He remembered the decades of waiting for his precious son’s birth. His heart broke, but Abraham obeyed.
At the foot of Mount Moriah, Abraham ordered the young men to stay with the donkey. “The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). “We will come back!” Abraham intended to obey God. Isaac would be sacrificed, but Abraham believed that “God was able even to raise him from the dead” (Hebrews 11:19). As father and son trudged up the hill, Isaac asked his dad, “ ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together’ ” (Genesis 22:7-8).
An altar was prepared. The rocks, the wood, and finally, the sacrificial offering. Abraham “bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar” (Genesis 22:9). As Abraham dutifully raised the knife, ready to plunge it into his son’s heart, God called, “Abraham! Abraham!” Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who Provides (Genesis 22:14), sovereignly prearranged a stray ram-lamb to be caught in the briar-bushes near the altar. The lamb died. Isaac lived.
Where was Mount Moriah? Scholars believe that Mount Moriah and Mount Calvary are one-and-the-same. And, how old was Isaac? I think he was thirty-three. The same age that Jesus was when he died on the same hill many years later. Jehovah-Jireh, the God who Provides, sent the sinless Lamb of God to die so that we can live. By-the-way, if he was thirty-three, then he was in the prime of his life. He could have whipped his old daddy. Isaac, like Jesus, offered himself up willingly.
He is still El-Shaddai, God Almighty. He is still Jehovah-Jireh, the God who Provides. He is still the God of Sovereign Grace, the Savior who came to seek and save... you!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.