Gen 22:17 A Resurrection Story 4/12/2009 ßà
#1. Mount Moriah (Gen 22:2-3, 2Chron 3:1, Matt 12:40, John 3:16, Heb 12:29)
#2. Jehovah-Jireh (Gen 22:13-14, Matt 22:42-45)
#3. Thy Seed (Gen 22:15-18, Gal 3:16,29)
#4. A Resurrection Story (Heb 11:17-19, 2Tim 1:9-10)
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 22:1 (2X). Since we are celebrating today the feast of Easter, I thought it appropriate if today we would look at a resurrection story. Therefore the title of this sermon is, “A Resurrection Story” (2X). I do not know if you have ever heard that this story in Gen 22 is a resurrection story, but that is what it actually is. This chapter is usually titled:
Ge 22:1-19 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And 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. And 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. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And 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. And 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. And 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? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And 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. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And 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. And 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. And 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. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And 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: That 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; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
And so, at first blush, this is indeed a story of God testing Abraham. But did God already know the outcome of this story? Indeed God did know the outcome of this story, for He is a God who declares the end from the beginning, according to Isa 46:10. And so, this was not a test that God needed to know the faith of Abraham. Was this truly a test for Abraham? No, for Abraham had put his trust in what God said already since the time He obeyed God’s voice to pack up from Haran, in Mesopotamia, and migrate into the land of Canaan. Rather, this chapter is a test for us, for God is testing us. The Bible was not written to elevate Abraham, but to elevate Christ. Do we see Christ in this chapter? That is our test.
#1. Mount Moriah (Gen 22:2-3, 2Chron 3:1, Matt 12:40, John 3:16, Heb 12:29)
Ge 22:2-3 And 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. And 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.
God told Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice on one of the mountains in the land of Moriah. Is this not amazing? At this time in history the land of Moriah was still uninhabited country. But God picked out a particular mountain in that country more than 1000 years before we read again about Mount Moriah. God told Abraham to worship Him with a burnt offering on the exact same place where later the temple in Jerusalem would be built. Put a sticker here in Gen 22, and please turn to the Prophecy of Second Chronicles, 2Chron 3:1 (2X). And now we are beginning to see the spiritual meaning of the words God chose to write down in this chapter. What did the temple in Jerusalem foreshadow? Indeed the temple in Jerusalem was only a shadow of the real temple of God in the hearts, or souls, of those whom God has chosen to become saved through His chosen Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The spiritual temple is the real temple, where Christ and God really dwell. The temple made of bricks and wood was only a shadow of it. After the cross the real temple would be revealed, and the shadow would be put away. We read in:
2Ch 3:1 ¶ Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
This was the place that David had reserved for the temple, which was the threshingfloor that David bought from Ornan the Jebusite. But God’s command was that not David, but Solomon should build this temple. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 22:2 (2X). There is one more thing that I would like to point out in this verse. At the end of verse 2 we read in our King James Bible, “one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Actually the Hebrew text reads, “one of the mountains which I will say thee of.” This is important when we come to the interpretation of verse 18. But look now at the response of Abraham in verse 3. Abraham rose up early in the morning, and made himself ready for the long trip. How long was this trip? We read in verse 4 that on the third day Abraham saw the place that God spoke of. What does the third day refer to? It took Abraham three days and three nights of suffering in his soul about the awful things that he would have to do to his son Isaac. It took him three days and three nights to come to the solution of the problem that he could see before him. And what spiritual insight do we get out of these words? It tells us that this impending sacrifice is a type, or a picture, of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Lord Jesus said in Matt 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Therefore, what is the spiritual picture we can see in verses 6-12? Isaac is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Abraham is a picture of God the Father. We can see this picture already faintly in verse 2, where we read, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” It reminds us of John 3:16, where God says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” And now we can also see what the wood and the fire represent. The wood, which Isaac is carrying, is a picture of the cross of Christ. The Hebrew word for “wood” is used 328 times, but 162 times out of these 328 it is translated “trees”. And the fire in Abraham’s hand represents the fire of Hell when it is applied to the sacrifice, for “Our God is a consuming fire”, as we read in Heb 12:29. Now we will see the answer to Isaac’s question.
Ge 22:7-8 And 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? And Abraha said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
This was not translated literally. Literally God wrote: “My son, God will see the Lamb for Himself for a burnt offering”. The Hebrew word that was translated “provide” in the KJV appears 1313 times in the Bible, and out of these 1313 times it is translated “see” 879 times and only 4 times “provide”. Moreover, in verse 8 it is not “a lamb for a burnt offering”, but it is “the Lamb for a burnt offering”. It is a particular Lamb that God has in view, specifically “The Lamb” from John 1:29, “The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”. This Lamb is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. But what is the meaning of the literal words in verse 8, “My son, God will see the Lamb for Himself for a burnt offering?” It means that God will look upon His Son the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb for a burnt offering. It also means that God will look upon Isaac as a representative of the Lord Jesus for a burnt offering. And although Isaac did not understand this answer from his father, these words containing “see” rather than “provide” are in the Hebrew text, and they are there for us, and this is what we are called to interpret.
But think now of the question Isaac asked: “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” What went on in the mind of Abraham when Isaac asked this question? Most likely Abraham’s thoughts were, “My son, I can feel the pain that you are going to experience, for you are the lamb for a burnt offering. My son, I am sorry that I have to do this to you, for God commanded me to offer you as a burnt offering. You will not feel the fire, for I will first kill you before I will burn you. But you will feel the sharp knife for a moment.” And in his own mind Abraham struggled with the question what God’s purpose would be with the sacrifice of his son, his only son whom he loved, for he had sent Ishmael away with Hagar several years earlier. How was God going to fulfil His promises to Abraham concerning his son Isaac? Gen 22:9-12,
Ge 22:9-12 And 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. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the Angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And 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.
It is here where the spiritual picture of Isaac in the role of the Lord Jesus Christ stops. When Christ was offered there was no one who could step in His place and thus Christ, in His human nature, had to suffer His atonement all the way to the end, including in His soul the burning pain of the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Now, God knew that Abraham would do this, for God knew Abraham’s heart, and God knew Abraham’s commitment to believe God and obey Him in everything. And this is where the heart of every true believer is touched by this story, for if we have been born again, or if we have been born from above, we have an urgent ongoing desire to do those things that are pleasing in the sight of God. The Lord Jesus says in Matt 10:37, “he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me,” and this is why Abraham did not hesitate to sacrifice his son. Let us now continue in verses 13-14,
#2. Jehovah-Jireh (Gen 22:13-14, Matt 22:42-45)
Ge 22:13-14 And 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. And 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.
“A ram caught in a thicket by his horns.” Who does this ram represent? He represents the Lord Jesus Christ who was sacrificed in the place of Isaac, who was sacrificed on behalf of the sins of Isaac, and who was caught in the shrubs by its horns. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 22:42 (2X). God made this ram suddenly appear, and it was created already stuck in the shrubs by its horns. What spiritual picture does God convey in this event? Horns in the Bible indicate strength. How was the Lord Jesus Christ caught in His strength? It was His strength of knowing the Word of God, for the Lord Jesus gave the scribes and Pharisees the key to accuse Him of blasphemy. He gave them the tools to cause Him to be nailed to the cross. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 22:42-45,
Mt 22:42-45 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
And thus the Lord Jesus hereby indicated that the Messiah is the Son of David, but He is also the Lord of glory who is not only man, as the son of David, but He is also God, for He is the Son of God. This is how the Lord was presented to them as a ram caught in the thicket, ready to be sacrificed.
Please turn again to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 22:14 (2X). What is the meaning of Jehovah-Jireh? The popular meaning is “Jehovah shall provide”. But that is not what God chose to write in the Hebrew text. Here is the same Hebrew word that we have already seen in verse 8, and it does not mean “provide”, but it means “see”. Jehovah-Jireh means “Jehovah shall see.” In fact, this word again appears as the last word in verse 14, which is “seen”. And thus “Jehovah shall see” harmonizes very well with “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” But if you adopt the meaning “Jehovah shall provide” you will not harmonize with the ending of verse 14. Moreover, verse 14 tells us with great emphasis:
Ge 22:14 And 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.
What is it that we shall see in the Mount of the Lord? Well, what did we see as the last event in Gen 22:13? Abraham offered the ram instead of his son Isaac. And the ram represented the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, it is the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ that shall be seen, and the results of the crucifixion shall be seen. When we go to the mountain of the Lord, or in spiritual terms: when we observe the Kingdom of the Lord, we shall see that Christ has been crucified (past tense), and that Christ has risen from the dead (past tense), for both His crucifixion and His resurrection are one unit, together forming the one atonement that the Lord Jesus Christ made. And what are the external evidences that Christ has been sacrificed for the sins of certain people, and has been raised to the state of King of kings and Lord of lords? How shall we see this? We shall see this in changed lives. When God the Holy Spirit makes alive the souls of those for whom the Lord Jesus suffered and died, and God the Holy Spirit gives these individuals a regenerated soul, He also gives them faith and a totally new outlook on this life on earth, and the result is a totally new lifestyle. Before we were saved we did not care for God and the Bible. That is putting it mildly. The Bible says that we were haters of God, for we hated His commandments. But after we were saved we love God, and we want to do those things that are pleasing in His sight all the time. At least this is our goal. And we love to read and study the Bible, for through this we get to know the Lord Jesus and His heavenly Father. This is what shall be seen in the Kingdom of the Lord, and it can still be seen “unto this day”. It can be seen every day that people give themselves for the service of others, especially for the benefit of having them saved.
When we now return to the meaning of Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah shall see, we need to understand clearly what the Lord shall see. Before the foundation of the world, when God looked at the human race, He saw that everyone was going astray. God described what He saw in Rom 3:10-12, “There is NONE righteous, no not one. There is NONE that understandeth. There is NONE that seeketh after the true God of the Bible. There is NONE that doeth good, no not one.” And God says in Eph 2:3, “We all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, we all were fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” And from the last three words we understand that the term “We All” refers to all those who can be considered children of God. It means then that We All were by nature children of the wrath of God, even as others who never become saved. And so, how can God save these people? There is only one way. God must choose whom He intends to save, and God must forcibly change them from the inside, and God must give them faith and a regenerated soul from which they begin to love the God who changed them. This is what comes to mind when we call on God as Jehovah-Jireh, the God who sees. Let us now look at:
#3. Thy Seed (Gen 22:15-18, Gal 3:16,29)
Ge 22:15-18 And the Angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And 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: That 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; And in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Let us now not take these sentences at face value, but let us understand them from the point of view of the previous verses, or else we are going to be mired in Arminian theology. When God says in verse 15, “because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son”, we need to understand why Abraham did these things. Abraham was already saved. Abraham was born again, or born from above. Therefore Abraham had a soul that was going to obey God. It is no surprise to God, or to Abraham, that Abraham obeyed God. But because Abraham obeyed God, and because Isaac in the role of the Lord Jesus Christ allowed himself to be bound and be ready to be sacrificed, and because Abraham offered the ram representing the Lord Jesus Christ, God swore with an oath that through Abraham’s Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. This means, first of all, that the blessing through the Gospel of grace is intended to go out to all the Gentile nations of the earth, and all these Gentiles who will be blessed shall be called the seed of Abraham. Secondly, it means that God is redefining the terms “as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore”, so that these numbers must not be understood literally, for this is impossible. Thirdly, it means that the term for Abraham’s Seed acquires a new meaning. It does not mean all of Abraham’s physical descendants, but it refers to all those who become true believers through Jesus Christ. Fourthly, God says in Gal 3:16,
Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
And thus, when we speak of Abraham’s Seed first the Lord Jesus Christ is in view, and after Him all those who are in Christ are also called Abraham’s seed, like we read in Gal 3:29, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” And thus the blessings that are promised to Abraham’s Seed that we read of in Gen 22:16-18 are not a surprise to God, or to Abraham, but are a result of Abraham’s salvation long before God tested him in Gen 22.
We read in our KJV Bibles in Gen 22:18, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” This again is not an accurate translation. The word “obeyed” does not occur in this verse. Literally God wrote in Gen 22:18, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast heard my voice.” As you remember, the ending of verse 2 reads literally, Gen 22:2, “upon one of the mountains which I will say thee of”. God says it in verse 2, and Abraham heard it, as shown to us in verse 18. And because Abraham listened and heard the voice of God, and followed God’s commands, Abraham was edified and increased in understanding, and Abraham was strengthened in his faith. God laid down this principle in Rom 10:17, where He says,
Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If we want to increase our faith, we should read the Bible, and through the spiritual hearing that is given us by God the Holy Spirit our faith will increase. That is why this church emphasizes Bible studies, for we are always in need of a better understanding of God’s Word. But why did I label this story in Gen 22 as a resurrection story?
#4. A Resurrection Story (Heb 11:17-19, 2Tim 1:9-10)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 11:17 (2X). Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the chapter of the heroes of faith. Not all the saints are listed in this chapter, for that was not the purpose of this chapter. But many saints are mentioned, and additional insight is gained, because the later revelation carries the greater weight. We find in Heb 11:17-19,
Heb 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
By faith Abraham offered up his son Isaac, even though God had promised before to Abraham that through Isaac shall his seed be called, and God’s promise was that Abraham’s seed through Isaac would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is upon the seashore. Abraham believed God, which means that Abraham believed what God said. That is why Abraham heard and that is why he obeyed, for Abraham expected that after his sacrifice of Isaac God was able to raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham was so entrenched that God would use this death and resurrection scenario, that he received Isaac as risen from the dead. We read in Heb 11:19, “from whence also he received him in a figure, (literally in a parable).” Abraham received Isaac again as if he were living in a parable. And thus, even though Isaac did not actually die during this ordeal, it was to Abraham as a real death and resurrection experience. In his agony during the three days and three nights he had already assigned Isaac to being dead, and in his mind he was prepared to go home without Isaac, for he did not know when God would raise Isaac from the dead. This was a very traumatic three days and three nights.
Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to Timothy, 2Tim 1:9 (2X). Therefore, whether we are in the OT or in the NT we shall see the Lord Jesus both in His death and in His resurrection. Almost on every page of the Bible should we see Jesus in all His glory, which means in all His victories over sin and Satan. Here in 2Tim 1:9-10 we are again reminded of the cross of Christ that was necessary to save us and of the resulting resurrection. We read in 2Tim 1:9-10,
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.