Genesis 20–23: Promise & Faith

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 6: Monday

Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:14

In today’s Bible reading, Genesis 20–23, Abraham sees the fulfillment of God’s promise in the birth of his son, Isaac,  born when Abraham is 100 years old, some 25 years after God told Abraham to leave Ur and promised to make of him a great nation (cf. Genesis 12:1–4). Abraham also undergoes his great test of faith in chapter 22. There are other significant events of Abraham’s life in these chapters: he grieves over the necessary expulsion of his son Ishmael, and he also knows loss and grief when his wife, Sarah, dies.

In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham by commanding him to offer up his only son, Isaac, as a burnt offering. Other sections of the Bible can give you understanding of a passage by their explanation of it. There are several that refer to the events of Genesis 20–23. Two of these are Galatians 4:21–31, about Abraham’s two sons, and Hebrews 11:8–19, which recounts Abraham’s faith demonstrated in the events of his life.

This is what Hebrews 11 says about Abraham’s offering of Isaac:

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”
Hebrews 11:17–19 (ESV)

Abraham believed God when God had told him that God’s covenant would be with his descendants through Isaac. When God told him to offer up Isaac, Abraham did not cease to believe God, but considered that God was able to raise him from the dead. He believed God’s promise.

Hebrews 11 opens with these words:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.”
Hebrews 11:1–2

Abraham is one of the great examples of faith. May God enable us to believe and trust Him as Abraham did.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
ESV: English Standard Version

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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