Genesis #9 – Abraham’s Seed & Sacrifice

God’s Revelations to Abraham

At least 9 times in Genesis, God reveals Himself to Abraham to provide special revelation about His plan for Abraham and all of mankind.  Note that this is “special revelation” – God revealing His mind and plan to man.  Special revelation became necessary because of sin, man was no longer able to have personal fellowship with God.

That work of Special Revelation led to its final form as the inspired Word of God, the Bible.  Today, we have God’s wisdom revealed to us so that we can understand Him, and understand how we can have fellowship with Him and glorify Him.  Additionally, the corollary Biblical doctrinal study is General Revelation which  considers the countless ways God reveals His mind and character through the natural world and universe we observe and live in.

Bible Study Journal
Here is a list of the revelation events in Abraham’s life. Please stop and take the time to look up each reference (preferably in a “real Bible”) and write in  your Bible Study Journal what each revelation consists of.

    1. 12:1 (Heb.11:8)
    2. 12:7
    3. 13:14
    4. 15
    5. 17:1-21
    6. 18
    7. 21:12-13
    8. 22:1-2 (James 2:21-23)
    9. 22:15-18
    • Special Credit: Read Rom. 1:18-32 and note the differences  between “general” and “special” revelation.

Here is a map you can use to follow

Four Seeds of Abraham

  • God’s covenant promise to Abraham was revealed and clarified through several interactions. Within the Covenant, God promises to bless Abraham with Land, Seed, and Blessing.  He defines the Promised Land with its boundaries, and the heathen nations that lived there and were to be conquered.  The Blessing was to provide restored fellowship with God, ultimately for all mankind and for eternity, through Jesus Christ the Messiah’s finished work on the Cross.  The Seed was constantly threatened (even by Abraham’s compromise of Sarah) because Satan’s agenda is to crush the Seed – Gen. 3:15 pictures Satan attempting to bruise or bite the Seed’s heel, but states that God will crush Satan’s head.  See the final chapters in Revelation to realize how real that promise is.

Abraham’s Seed, which constitutes God’s work of providing the Ultimate Seed of  the Messiah, is seen in these four forms:

    1.  His Natural Seed
      • All physical descendants of Abraham
      • Gen 12:1-3, 7
    2.  His Spiritual Seed
      • All Jews, believing physical descendants of Abraham, who followed Abraham’s faith in the One True God
      • Rom 9:6, 8; Gal 6:16
    3.   Extended Spiritual Seed
      • All true believers, whether Jew or Gentile, who believe in God’s promise to send a Redeemer Messiah
      • Gal 3:6-9, 29
    4.  The Ultimate Seed
      • The final culmination of Abraham’s progeny in Jesus Christ Himself (Gal 3:16)

Genesis 21 – Miracle & Struggle at Home

  • When 22:1 says “After these things”, what things are being referred to?
    • There are parallels between Abraham/Isaac and Hagar/Ishmael; the latter aren’t “minor” characters – compare 16:7-16, 21:8-12, where they are seen as equally significant to God.
    • Hagar takes Abraham’s first son into the wilderness, where his death seems imminent
    • These scriptures describing Abraham’s and Hagar’s prospect of losing their sons, include parallel language, sometimes using the exact same words
  • Interesting that Hagar is the only person in the Bible to give God a name, “the God Who sees” El-Roi, Gen 16:13 – otherwise God gives Himself names
      • Was she amazed to be able to see His physical manifestation?
      • Or was she amazed that God saw her and came to care for her?
      • In 16:11, God gave Ishmael his name, which means “God hears”
  • Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac  has “Biblical” impact – the promised seed line now surfaces, which in turn influences all of the rest of God’s work on behalf of man’s need for rescue from sin
    • God promised a Seed-bearing son – Gen.17:16; 18:14
    • 21:1, God “visited”, “took note”,
      • “as He had said”, God did what He said He would do
      • 1 Sam.2:21, God gave Hannah her son Samuel
      • Jer. 29:10, God brought His people back to Jerusalem as promised

Genesis 22 – Sacrifice

  • God appears to Abraham again
    • 22:1, “Here I am, Lord”
    • compare 22:11; Exo. 3:4; 1 Sam. 3:4; Isa. 6:8
  • God “tests” Abraham – not a temptation to sin, but a test to demonstrate Abraham’s love for God and faith in Him
    • James explains more to us about testing to prove character & strength – James 2:21-23
  • 22:2, “Take your son and go to Mt. Moriah”, this is a strongly worded instruction, and this particular Hebrew structure is used only in here & 12:1  – the link between these two radical tests can’t be avoided
    • “Moriah” – the word can be translated “visions”, “worship”, “high”, “chosen”, “place of appearing” – all which help to express the lofty place the location holds geographically and spiritually
    • Moriah is the mountain that Solomon’s Temple is built on in Jerusalem
    • See 2 Chron. 3:1 – also 21:18-30
    • “burnt offering” is Heb. ‘olah’  which can also be translated  “holocaust”
  • Gerar to Moriah (Jerusalem) is about 40 miles –  Evidently this takes place several years after ch.21, Isaac probably an older teen
      • Where David built an altar to God – 2 Sam.24:16-25
      • Where Solomon built the Temple – 2 Chron. 3:1
  • This 8th revelation from God is special – “take Isaac”
      • Tests/proves the radical nature of true faith
      • God’s command is a repeat of the radical one in 12:1-3
      • Your only son – John 3:16
      • 11:17 – he who had received the promises
  • 22:9, faith in action
      • In Abraham’s heart, Isaac was sacrificed
      • V9, Isaac must have learned something about faith from his father; certainly as he goes along in this episode, he demonstrates obedience and faith
      • This event is the height of Abraham’s relationship with God

The Promises of God

Bible Study Journal

One of the most exciting ways for us to study the Bible is to discovers the rich legacy of promises He holds in store for us.  Here is a list of just a few verses for you to consider as look at God’s promises to Abraham.  Read each one carefully, note the highlighted phrase for each, and write in your journal how God is producing each promise in your life.

    • God’s presence— “I will never leave you” (Heb. 13:5)
    • God’s protection—”I am your shield” (Gen. 15:1)
    • God’s power—”I will strengthen you” (Isa. 41:10)
    • God’s provision—”I will help you” (Isa. 41:10)
    • God’s leading—”And when He puts forth His own sheep, He goes before them” (John 10:4)
    • God’s purposes— “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jer. 29:11)
    • God’s rest—”Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28)
    • God’s cleansing— “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
    • God’s goodness— “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)
    • God’s faithfulness—”The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake” (1 Sam. 12:22)
    • God’s guidance—”The meek will He guide” (Psalm 25:9)
    • God’s wise plan—”All things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28)

The Greatest Promise: The Lord will Provide

  • Genesis 22:8, God’s precious promise to provide a sacrifice
    • Along with v13, this is the first reference of one life being given as a substitutionary offering for another life
    • this points ultimately to the sacrifice of God’s Son on the Cross as our substitute for sin
  • In 22:14 declares the name of God as “Jehovah Jireh”, which means “the Lord will Provide”
    • Abraham already knows God as El Shaddai (17:1), the Almighty, All-Sufficient God
  • In 22:15, God appears to Abraham again, the 9th revelation
    • God gives a unique covenant oath, only given to Abraham in which He reiterates the Covenant promise of Land, Seed, and Blessing
    • Moses refers later to this later, e.g. Gen. 26:3; Exo. 13
  • In Hebrews 6:13-18, we are reminded of the weight of strong assurance we have in God’s promise – the Creator of the Universe guarantees that His purposes and promises are unchangeable, giving us a grand hope as the “anchor of our soul”
  • While Resurrection and Atonement are portrayed in this passage, the Key Truth is God’s singular covenant to Provide His fulfilled promises to His faithful follower