Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Abraham

Lesson 6: The Birth and Offering of Isaac

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 21:1–7 and Genesis 22:1–18)

We will probably never comprehend the faith, and the anguish, of Abraham as he prepared to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. The Lord’s command was even more difficult because of the great joy at Isaac’s birth that was reflected in his name, which means “he laughs.” Sarah had proclaimed that everyone who heard about Isaac’s birth would join her in laughing with joy.

But then the command came to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. This was the most severe test of faith anyone has ever been asked to undergo. But Abraham never wavered in his response, beginning the journey early the next morning. Abraham’s answer (Genesis 22:8) to Isaac’s question about a lamb for the sacrifice is a tremendous statement of faith in God’s ability to provide for His people. And God did provide a sacrifice to take Isaac’s place.

Study Questions

  1. Genesis 21 shows that Sarah also waited in faith for the birth of the promised son. What lesson had she learned from the incident with Hagar fourteen years earlier?
  2. From Genesis 22:3, see if you can identify at least five specific steps Abraham took to obey God’s command.
  3. Mount Moriah gained more significance later in Israel’s history. What important structure did Solomon build for God on this holy site (see 2 Chronicles 3:1)?
  4. In what way did the substitution of a ram for Isaac’s life foreshadow Israel’s sacrificial system under the Law of Moses?
  5. Abraham’s obedience brought a great blessing from God (vv. 17–18). How is the statement of verse 18 similar to the promise of Genesis 12:3?

Something to Think About

What has God done for you that brings you joy and laughter? Share your blessing with a friend or family member today.

God still tests our faith in many ways today. The fact that He provided what Abraham needed means that God is able to help us meet our test.