How to Hope: Lessons from the Israelites and Their Messianic Expectation, Part 7 (Second Coming Chapel #222)

TEXT: Genesis 22:1-14

1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.


How to Hope: Lessons from the Jews and Their Messianic Expectation, Part 7

Allen P. Ross said, “To fear God means to reverence Him as sovereign, trust Him implicitly, and obey Him without question. This reveals the greatness of Abraham’s faith; he was willing to obey God by sacrificing his son. It also reveals the greatness of Isaac’s faith in submission; he had everything in the world to live for but willingly followed his father’s words, believing that God would provide a lamb.”

A few weeks back, we looked at this account of Abraham being commanded by God to sacrifice his son, and the lessons that we can learn from his response to this discouraging and harrowing test as we anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ. We saw the importance of: (1) trusting God even when we don’t understand; (2) obeying God despite what others might say; and (3) following God even when we do not feel like it. But, there is another person in this account whom we can learn from as well.

Isaac must have become concerned as he and his father neared the end of a three-day journey to sacrifice to Abraham’s God, and no animal had yet made an appearance. “My father, he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham responds, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” This is the only verbal exchange between the two that is reported to us.

J.P. Lange and Philip Schaff write in their commentary on Genesis: “Isaac knew that a sacrificial animal belonged to the sacrifice. The answer of the father, trembling anew at the question of his beloved child, appears to intimate that he held the entrance of a new revelation at the decisive moment to be possible. Until this occurs, he must truly obey according to his previous view and purpose. The terms of address — My father! My son! — the few weighty and richly significant words, mark the difficulty of the whole course for Abraham, and present in so much clearer a light, the unwavering steadfastness of his readiness to make the offering. Nothing is said of any agitation, of any resistance, or complaint on the part of Isaac. It is clear that he is thus described as the willing sacrificial lamb.”

What can we learn from Isaac’s example? What can we take away for our lives today as we live in expectation of the Second Coming.

First, we must learn to expect to bear burdens in this life. Isaac bearing the wood on his back to the place of sacrifice is a foreshadowing of Jesus bearing His cross to Golgotha. But Jesus’ burden-bearing does not mean that we who have benefited from His sacrifice will lie on beds of ease. In fact, Jesus told us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” We must be willing to bear our burdens just as Isaac was willing to bear his.

Second, from Isaac’s example, we can learn to follow without complaint. Isaac did not know where Abraham was leading him. Isaac did not understand the ways of his father’s strange God. But, when he finally, shockingly, discovers that he is intended to be the sacrifice, he does not revolt. Like his father, he obeys without needing full understanding. How much further along in our Christian walk might we be if we did the same?

Third, from Isaac’s example, we can learn to trust God for the outcome. As the commentary I quoted from suggests, Abraham may have suspected that God would dramatically intervene. But it is more likely that Abraham was only desperately hoping for intervention. He had no guarantee, no evidence to base such a hope on. The hand of God had brought strange things about in his life before. The only thing he could do was trust God for the outcome. And that was all Isaac could do as well. It appears that Isaac and his father bypassed four of the stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, and depression — and got straight to acceptance. Acceptance of God’s will, acceptance of God’s plan, and acceptance of the outcome whatever that might be.

Like Isaac, in life, we will be faced with impossible situations that are out of our control and in which we have no way of influencing the outcome. We can choose to bear the burdens that come our way, follow without complaint, and trust God for the outcome.

J.S. Mohler wrote:

Our journey lies across
A wide and dangerous sea,
With rolling billows tossed
On raging Galilee.

Though threatening waves assail
Our ship on every side,
The journey cannot fail
For Jesus rules the tide.

Our ship is moving on,
Though clouds and storms arise,
The compass points beyond,
To calm and peaceful skies.

The storms will soon be over,
Fair Canaan’s lands appear,
We get a glimpse of shore,
Our ship is drawing near.


Now, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to trust in Him because He is coming again and you do not want to be left behind. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and the consequences of sin.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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