LESSON 18 – Abraham’s Sacrifice – Genesis 22

  1. Discussion
    • Read Genesis 22:1-19. What does the reader of Genesis 22 know that Abraham does not? (Vs 1 – That this is a test of his faith.) What does God ask Abraham to do? (vs. 2 – take his son to Moriah [note: Moriah is the place in Jerusalem where the temple was eventually built – see II Chron. 3:1]and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on a mountain there) What words in this verse indicate the immensity of what God was asking Abraham to do? (“your only son, whom you love”) List the things in 22: 3-9 that Abraham did after this request that show his wholehearted obedience to God’s request. (rose early, made preparations, cut wood for the offering, set out ASAP for Moriah, traveled three days, placed the wood on Isaac’s back and carried the fire and knife himself; bound his son and reached out his hand and took the knife) What question does Isaac ask? (Where is the sacrifice?) How does Abraham answer? (God will Himself provide the lamb for the burnt offering) How does God intervene? (Possible answers: The angel of the Lord calls from heaven and tells him to stop; He tells him not to lay a hand on the boy, etc.) What does God say to Abraham that He now knows about him? (That Abraham fears God because he didn’t withhold his son from Him.) Why does Abraham call the place on Mt. Moriah, “The Lord Will Provide”? (a ram was caught in a thicket by its horns, they sacrificed it instead of Isaac) What things does God reiterate to Abraham? (His covenant with Abraham: God would bless him, his descendants would be as numerous as the stars and the sand on the seashore, they would take over the cities of their enemies, all the nations of the world would be blessed through his offspring [Jesus]) Where did Abraham travel after this? (Beersheba – find it on your map – also, point out Jerusalem where Mt. Moriah is)
    • Read Genesis 22:20-24. Who is Nahor? (Abraham’s brother back in Haran.) Who is Rebekah? (the grand-daughter of Nahor) Why do you think this brief genealogy is mentioned here? (She will eventually become the wife of Isaac.)
  2. Application– We will look at two applications for this story. The first will be about what it teaches us about God and His Son, Jesus. The second will be about what Abraham learned from this experience and how that can help us in our walk with God.
    • This story teaches us several things about God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Abraham is a picture of the Father and Isaac is a picture of His Son, Jesus. What does verse two teach us? (That God sent His only Son, the One He loved – John 3:16) What does Abraham say in verse 8? (That God would provide for Himself a lamb for the sacrifice.) This response is really a summary of the entire Bible message. The sacrifice for sin will be provided by a lamb that comes from God, Jesus; and that Lamb is God Himself in the flesh. (John 1:1-12) Isaac’s willingness to participate in the sacrifice also shows us Jesus.  Abraham did not have to chase after Isaac and tie him down; Isaac willingly let himself be tied to the altar.  Isaac was most likely a young man in his 20’s when this occurred – if he wanted to elude Abraham, he could have.  The name that Abraham called the place, God Will Provide or Jehovah Jireh, shows us that salvation is provided by God. Isaac is also a picture of all us in another way to look at the story. We were tied down on the altar of our sins, ready to be executed for our sin against a holy God.  (Rom. 6:23) But suddenly a substitute appears – a ram in a thicket – Jesus who takes our place and pays for our sins.  Thanks be to the Father Who provided a way for us to escape the guilt of our sin! Like it says in Acts 13:39 (NLT):  “Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God – something the Jewish law could never do.”
      • Ask your children: What things do you fear? What makes you afraid? (Expect a variety of answers; you may be able as their parent to suggest things that they may not see in their own life. This is especially true of teens. Maybe they don’t see that their actions show they are afraid of losing friendships, the future, growing up, etc.) What is God really asking Abraham? (Possible answers: What is most important to you, that you could not bear to lose? Is it Me or something else? What is it you fear?, etc.) What ichoice is Abraham being asked to make? (Do you really trust in God? Or do you love your son more than Me? Are you willing to put Me first in your life and let Me take care of the future? Etc.) Abraham passes the test. In verse 5 what interesting thing does Abraham say that indicates his faith in God’s promises to him? (“We will worship and then we will come back to you”) Why do you think he answers this way – is planning on not doing what God asks? (No, the fact that he has made all the preparations including fire and knife show us he intends to follow through.) For an important insight to this passage read Hebrews 11:17-19. What did Abraham believe would happen to Isaac? (that is he sacrificed Isaac God would raise him from the dead) How could Abraham be so sure about this? (He believed all the promises God had made to him about Isaac. Over and over again as we have seen, God told Abraham that Isaac was the one – the one through whom all the promises would be fulfilled.) We must realize that the stakes were huge for Abraham here – either he must believe God or he will strike out on his own away from God, trying to protect Isaac and bring about the promises on his own strength.   What did God say in verse 12 Abraham had shown? (that he feared God more than anything else) How is fearing God different from being afraid of the dark, or snakes, or losing your friends, or your family, etc.? [Substitute here the thing they mentioned at the beginning of the lesson] Fearing God means that we know God is the One in control of all things.  We know that someday we will present ourselves before Him and give an account of all the things we have done. Will we be able to say that our lives showed that our trust was completely in Him? That our choices made it clear that He was the most important thing in our life? Work on a list of the things that your children fear with them. Then, in prayer, help them give these things to God. You can have them word it like this, “Lord even if _________________ (what ever fear they have listed) happens, I will follow You and will give me the strength to get through this.”  Releasing their fears to God in prayer will help them walk with God in obedience like Abraham did in Genesis 22.
  3. Digging Deeper
    1. Abraham was given a severe test of his faith. God asked him to give up the thing/person that mattered most to him in the entire world.  Is God testing your faith right now? Describe your situation. How are you doing with this test? What is God teaching you? How can you obey Him in this situation? In what ways do you need to trust God more? How can reflecting on the end of the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah encourage you? End with a verse that encourages you to do the right thing in this situation.
    2. Write a journal entry from Isaac’s perspective of the events described in Genesis 22:1-19. Give many details and include descriptive, sensory details (smell, sight, hearing, etc.) and Isaac’s feelings as he began to realize what his father was going to do.  Remember that Isaac was not a little boy at this point, but most likely a young man in his early 20’s. Included what things Isaac could have learned from this episode in his life.