In Genesis 22, we read a surprising account. God tells Abraham to go and sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. God referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only son, whom he loves”. God’s reference to Isaac as Abraham’s only son is an indication that something bigger is taking place here, because Abraham had another son, Ishmael. God was using Abraham to illustrate something that would take place later. We will look at that in the next post. A second curious aspect of this story that we often miss is what Abraham told the young men who had accompanied him and Isaac. Abraham said that they, Abraham, and Isaac, would go and that they both would return. When he left the young men, Abraham believed that Isaac would be slain, burned on the altar, and then return with him. Although the term isn’t used, resurrection is implied. This is what the author of Hebrews referred to when he wrote that Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). When we read those words in Hebrews, we read them through the lens of Jesus’ resurrection and numbers of other resurrection accounts recorded in Scripture. However, Abraham’s case is fascinating, because prior to this point in Scripture, there is no record of anyone rising from the dead. Scripture does not record a resurrection until the time of Elijah over 1000 years after Abraham. Yet, Abraham told those with him that he and Isaac would return, even though he had every intention to sacrifice Isaac in accordance with the command Father had given to him.
Here is the point, Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead even though that had never happened before. Imagine having that type of faith in what God could do! Believing that God will do something that he had never done before in history. How might that type of faith change the way you live?
Next time we will look at this story from God’s perspective and what he was teaching us.