In Genesis 22 not much attention is usually given to the ram. Understandably so. There’s so much in this chapter to marvel at: the testing of Abraham, the way in which Abraham’s offering of Isaac foreshadows the sacrifice of God the Father offering His beloved Son, Isaac’s humble submission as a prefiguration of the obedience of Christ, the parallel between Abraham’s words, “God will provide for Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen 22:8) and those of John the Baptist thousands of years later, “behold the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). There is indeed much to contemplate in this chapter; but for now, let us take a moment to marvel at the connection between Abraham, the ram and Jehovah Jireh.
Up until this point we’ve posted two Daily Teachings with similar titles; one on the subject of Bible-reading and one on the subject of prayer. In both of those cases the idea was the same: a little of either one is much, much better than…nothing. A little bit of Bible reading each day is far better than none. And likewise a little bit of prayer each day is far better than none. That, however, is not the case with worship. A little worship would not compromise true worship.
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Gen 22:12)
The context for this verse is a familiar one. God had called Abraham to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him on one of the mountains there (Gen 22: 2). This was a test for Abraham (vs.1). Abraham had waited many years for his son, the son that was the child of promise (see Heb 11:17-18), and now God tested him by telling him to give up that son as a burnt offering. As the narrative unfolds, God would not have Abraham go through with the sacrifice. Though God would be so gracious as to offer up His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16), He would never have any human being offer their son or daughter as a sacrifice. Nonetheless, Abraham was willing to do what God had asked. According to the writer of Hebrews it appears that Abraham reckoned that God could, and would, raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill the promises that He had made (Gen 22:5; Heb 11:19).