Donate now to keep this site up and running
A. There was once an Arab sheik who became convinced that the
terrible deity he worshipped had commanded him to bury his
1. He made known his conviction to the girl, and with that
extravagant filial respect
characteristic of the Orient, she consented to be
a. He dug the grave with his own hands.
b. He took the fair young girl in his arms to thrust
her down into the pit to be buried alive.
c. But at that moment she noticed that in digging
the grave a piece of moist earth had
clung to his long white beard, which is the pride
of the Arab heart; and she stretched forth her
hand to remove it as a final act of affection.
2. Her deed of love so touched the heart of the old fanatic
that he spared her life and carried her back to his home.
B. This morning's passage is something like that- a God who
commands a father to sacrifice his son.
1. Abraham is very highly regarded for his actions in this
episode, and rightly so.
2. On this Father's Day, we wish to explore the actions of
the "An Obedient Father" in regard to his son.
3. As far as pure literature goes, this is one of the greatest
texts in the Old Testament;
Moses put this text together masterfully.
a. In reading through Genesis, we have no advance
warning that God would dare make such a
1) In the stories of Cain and Abel and
Hagar and Ishmael, we see God's
upholding the dignity of human life - he
strongly punishes Cain and provides for
Hagar, but here he requires the murder
of a child.
2) The shock value in the text likely serves
to jolt the reader in a way similar to the
jolt that had to come to Abraham.
b. We methodically see Abraham's carrying out
God's request- cutting wood, taking fire,
building an altar, and binding his son. This
likely serves to make the reader stop to ponder,
"What was going through Abraham's mind?"
c. The suspense is great in this text - this story is
prolonged and makes you wonder, "What
exactly is going to happen?"
d. I think there's a reason that this narrative is such
a rich piece of literature - the episode narrated
here is an important one.
C. In this narrative we see: ABRAHAM LOVED GOD MORE
THAN HIS SON, ABRAHAM TRUSTED IN THE LORD, &
ABRAHAM RECEIVED BLESSINGS FROM THE LORD.
ABRAHAM LOVED GOD MORE THAN HIS SON, vv. 2-11
A. God came and told Abraham, "Take your son, your only son,
Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice
him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell
you about," v. 2.
1. Isaac is here referred to as Abraham's only son - you
know in a strict sense that Isaac wasn't Abraham's only
son (he had Ishmael with Hagar), but Isaac was the child
2. Isaac is here referred to as the son whom Abraham
a. Any father is going to love his child - we expect
to find parental love even among the most
depraved human beings.
b. Yet, Abraham had every reason to view Isaac in
a different light than other fathers view their
children - this child was given to him in
extremely old age and this was the child of
promise (the child through whom God would
richly bless Abraham).
B. We're not told that Abraham said anything to the Lord; instead
we simply read of his obedience to the command. Notice that
1. Early the next morning, Abraham got up and went on his
a. This was not a man who was going to delay his
obedience: he left the very next day, and he got
up early so that he could go first thing.
b. It's troubling to see people delay obedience.
1) Some of you are sitting here this
morning having every intention of
becoming a Christian at some point.
You might say something like, "I'm
going to get around to it."
2) Abraham wasn't like that - he
understood obeying God was of prime
importance. He wasn't going to wait and
get around to it later, but he was going
to do what was right as quickly as he
2. He cut enough wood for the offering and went on his
a. We here see a prepared obedience.
1) It would have been far easier, I'm sure,
to have waited until he got to Moriah for
Abraham to cut the wood.
2) But, who knows if Abraham would have
been able to have found ample timber
once he arrived in Moriah - Scholars
don't know where this Moriah was, and
it may have been that there wasn't any
timber to cut in Moriah and Abraham
b. You see, Abraham made sure that he had
everything in order so that he could obey
God when he got to Moriah.
1) How many of us make sure that we have
everything in proper order so that we
can obey God?
2) I've had people tell me things like:
"Justin, I have some things in my life I
need to straighten out before I'm
baptized. Let me straighten them out,
and I'll do it." If there are things you
need to take care of so that you can obey
God, be like Abraham and do it.
3. You also see Abraham has prepared obedience in that he
carried something to start a fire - called "fire" in the text-
and a knife with him.
4. When Abraham and Isaac got to the appointed place,
Abraham build the altar, arranged the wood on it, bound
his son, laid him on the altar, and took his knife to slay
a. Parents, can you imagine the agony Abraham
must have felt at this point?
1) Imagine for a second taking your child,
whom you love more than life, binding
his hands with rope, taking a knife to
slay him, and burning him with fire.
2) There are not words to express the
emotions Abraham had to be feeling.
b. Yet, God had called him to obey, and obey he
C. How much do we value obedience to God?
1. Do we value obedience to God to the extent that we love
God more than we love our family?
2. Scripture has called upon us to value spiritual matters
more than family matters.
a. Jesus valued his heavenly Father more than he
did Mary and Joseph.
1) When Mary and Joseph took the young
Jesus to Jerusalem, they lost him, and
finally found him in the temple, Jesus
said to them, "Why were you searching
for me? Didn't you know I had to be in
my Father's house?" (Lk. 2:49).
2) When Mary and Jesus' brothers came to
see Jesus, the Lord replied, "Whoever
does God's will is my brother and sister
and mother" (Mk. 3:35).
b. As large crowds were following Jesus, he turned
to them and said, "If anyone comes to me and
does not hate his father and mother, his wife and
children, his brothers and sisters, yes - even his
own life - he cannot be my disciple" (Lk. 14:26).
3. How much do we value God in relation to our families –
do we value God or families more?
a. Do our children see that when we discipline
them that we don't just discipline them
because we love them but also because we love
God? Do they see that our discipline involves
upholding God's standards?
b. Do our children see that although Sunday
morning is beautiful - a beautiful day to
spend with them at the park with a picnic, t-ball,
and fishing - that we're going to worship God
first and only then will we have that "quality
c. Do our children see that our highest aspiration in
life is obedience to our heavenly Father?
d. How much do you value obedience to God?
ABRAHAM TRUSTED IN THE LORD, vv. 7-8
A. Isaac asked his father, "The fire and wood are here, but where is
the lamb for the burnt offering?" v. 7.
1. Isn't Isaac about in for the shock of his life!
2. Can you even begin to imagine the pain that question
must have caused for Abraham?
Here is the son of promise, the son of his old age, the
son he loves deeply, and he just
has to go and ask, "Dad, where's the sacrifice?"
3. Can you imagine the puzzlement that has to be in Isaac's
mind? Here is dad has taken all this preparation - gotten
up early, brought wood, fire, and a knife - but Dad hasn't
brought a sacrifice.
B. Abraham simply says, "God himself will provide the lamb for
the burnt offering, my son," v. 8.
1. It might be easy to discount Abraham's remark and
simply say that Abraham only wanted to allay his son's
2. However, that doesn't seem to be the proper way to read
a. The literary structure of the passage doesn't lend
easily to that interpretation.
1) This verse foreshadows verse 13 where
in fact the Lord does provide for the
2) This verse also foreshadows verse 14
where the place where Abraham went to
sacrifice Isaac is called "The LORD
b. Heb. 11:17-19 also points to Abraham's
confidence in God.
1) From what we read in Hebrews, it seems
that Abraham fully expected to offer
2) Yet, Abraham knew that God would
provide - what he did not know; perhaps
a resurrection - but he knew that God
C. What a lesson for us about putting confidence in the Lord!
1. It's easy to put confidence in the Lord when things are
going well- when our spouse and
kids do what we think they ought to do, when the bank
account is padded quite nicely, and when our job is
2. But, that's not when Abraham put confidence in God.
a. This God in whom Abraham was putting his
trust was the very God who said, "Go, kill your
b. Are we able to put trust in God when God
doesn't seem to make sense?
1) When God has acted in a way other than
we think he should have acted, can we
put trust in him?
2) When God hasn't prevented some
terrible event we wish he would have
prevented, can we put trust in him?
3) When obeying God and doing what we
want conflict, can we put trust in him?
3. Trust in God is absolutely essential.
a. "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the
LORD, is the Rock eternal" (Is. 26:4).
b. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him" (Jer. 17:7).
c. "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in
full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:22).
D. It is said that Martin Luther, the great reformer, faced period of
great depression and discouragement in his life.
1. On one occasion, his wife came down to greet him at
breakfast, dressed in black.
2. He exclaimed, "Why in the world are you dressed in
black?" She replied, "Have you not heard? God is
3. Luther got the point: there was no point in being
depressed and discouraged. God lives, and all is well.
E. Is your trust in God? Or, is your God dead?