Evangelist David Kim’s sermon from Shiloh's Lord’s Day Service on June 23, 2019
Introduction (The promised fulfilled)
God tested the faith of Abraham in the most incomprehensive and probably in the most unthinkable way. God promised Abraham descendants at the age of seventy-five when he moved from Haran and then continuing with the ratification of the covenant of the torch in Genesis 15. Abraham finally becomes the father of Isaac at the age of one hundred years old (Gen 21:5). From the age of seventy-five until one hundred, the promise of a son was fulfilled after twenty-five years that descendants would come from his own body.
Abraham’s Decisive Faith to obey
(1) Abraham’s faith to obey God’s Word
Abraham waited twenty-five years to receive the promise of a son, but then God commands Abraham and says, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and offer him as a burnt offering on Mount Moriah” (Gen 22:2). This would be Abraham’s final test, the final command that God would give to him. Abraham responded by obeying right away, for he rose early in the morning and there were no discussions between Abraham and Sarah regarding himself and Isaac on this journey to Mount Moriah (Gen 22:3). To “rise early” in the morning teaches us that Abraham had this immediate faith and obedience to follow through with the command that God had given to him. We know that it was a three day’s journey to Mount Moriah for on the 3rd day, Abraham arrived at the place that God had spoken of (Gen 22:4). The Bible does not record what conversations that took place between Abraham and Isaac on this journey, but we can imagine the questions Abraham might have had. Abraham might have thought, “Did I hear incorrectly from God asking me to sacrifice my only son? How will the great nation and people that were promised come true?” However, rather than questioning God, Abraham held tight to God’s Word and was guided to Mount Moriah. The three-day journey was a necessity and necessary for Abraham to get rid of all of the suffering, anguish and human thoughts that might have come into play when the command to sacrifice his son was given to him. And as such, Abraham was able to decisively obey the command that God had given to him.
(2) Abraham’s faith in God and His promise
As Abraham and Isaac were traveling and going to Mount Moriah, Isaac asked his father Abraham, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Gen 22:7). The wisdom and the faith that Abraham has and his response back to his son Isaac are very amazing. Abraham responded, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Gen 22:8). Would we be able to respond in such a way with such a difficult question knowing that this is my son whom I will sacrifice? If we fear the Lord, God will tell us His secrets (Psa 25:14). Abraham’s response to Isaac shows us that Abraham is fully confident in God that He would, in fact, fulfill His promises.
(3) Abraham’s faith in God’s power to raise the dead
Abraham knows he’s going to mount Moriah to kill and offer his son as a burnt offering. When Abraham and Isaac arrive at Mount Moriah, Abraham says to his young servants that traveled with him, “I and the lad will go over there, and we will worship and return to you” (Gen 22:5). In the original Hebrew text, it is translated, “We will return back to you.” This teaches us that Abraham believed that if he would in fact kill Isaac that God would raise him back from the dead (Heb 11:19). What great faith Abraham had to even consider that this was even a possibility. As Abraham bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar and took a knife to slay him, the angel of God stops him at the decisive moment (Gen 22:9-12). Here at this moment, Abraham spiritually receives Isaac back from the dead. Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice his son shows us that Abraham’s faith had matured.
Our faith must mature
Our faith cannot stay at the same level our entire lives. Our faith must always continue to grow and develop. God promised Abraham that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky which began Abraham’s faith in God’s Word (Gen 15:5-6). However, it was not until Abraham was able to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering that God finally acknowledged Abraham’s faith by saying, “Now I know that you fear God” (Gen 22:12). From faith to faith, our faith must continue to grow (Rom 1:17). We must grow into a faith that is a God-fearing faith (Eph 4:13-15). We cannot be infants drinking milk our entire lives. We must grow in order to eat solid food so that we can discern between good and evil (Heb 5:13-14). To overcome the great tribulation in the end-time, we must have a faith that is mature (Matt 24:19). Only when our faith is mature will we be able to sacrifice the things that are most precious to us in order to do God’s will.
Conclusion: We must come to understand that everything we have is not ours. It belongs to God and came from God originally. This is why it is even more amazing that Abraham was able to offer Isaac at the command that God had given to him. God acknowledges Abraham’s faith and says, “You have not withheld your son, your only son from Me” (Gen 22:12; 16). Redemptive historically, this means that God’s work of redemptive history could finally continue to progress forward with Abraham to accomplish God’s redemptive work. As a result of his God-fearing faith, Abraham was acknowledged by God and was pleasing to Him (Heb 11:6). In sacrificing his son, God recognized Abraham’s mature faith.
Jesus said, “For I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (John 8:29). When we please God, then salvation has been given to us (1 Tim 2:4). When we follow after God wholeheartedly, in the end, we will also follow the lamb and stand at the top of Mount Zion with the 144,000 (Rev 14:1, 4). May we continue to reach the spiritual maturity level of our faith so that God will acknowledge each of us for our God-fearing faith so that we will all stand with the Lord Jesus Christ on Mount Zion and follow Jesus wherever He leads.