The Obedience of Faith
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of March 9, 2014
Faith relies on God to fulfill His promises. Faith looks beyond the present to God’s carrying out those promises. Faith is not selfish—it is willing to sacrifice to be obedient to God or serve others. That is why faith, hope, and love are often linked together in the New Testament (e.g., 1 Cor. 13:13).
The climax of Abraham’s walk of faith coincided with his arrival on Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise. Abraham willingly obeyed. All else, including the fulfillment of the promise through Isaac, was up to God. Thus in faith the patriarch told Isaac that “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8), knowing that the lamb God would provide was apparently Isaac.
Seeing Abraham’s willingness to obey, the Lord provided “a ram caught by its horns” in a thicket (v. 13). So Abraham “sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son” (v. 13). The theme of a substitutionary sacrifice is brought together with the theme of the Lord’s provision. In fact Abraham named the place “The Lord Will Provide” (v. 14).
We can only guess what went through Abraham’s mind as he trudged up Mount Moriah with Isaac at his side. We know he trusted God to fulfill the promise in Isaac, and that he was obeying God in sacrificing Isaac. The writer to the Hebrews concluded that “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death” (Heb. 11:19).
Take notice: Paul may have had this story in mind when he wrote to the Roman Christians about God’s provision of His Son Jesus Christ in our place: “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32) We should give Him the best we have because He has given us the best He has.