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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:17-19

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Heb 11:17-19  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  (18)  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  (19)  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

The account of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, his son, is found in Gen 22:1-19.

Abraham’s faith in the promises of God was put to the test when he was called upon to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  We had seen previously, that the conception and birth of Isaac was the result of a promise that God had given to Abraham and Sara (Heb 11:11-12).

A part of the original promise given by God was… “thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him” Gen 17:19.  God promised that Abraham would have a son (Isaac), and also, God promised that Isaac would have descendants who would inherit the promises of His covenant.

In our Hebrews text, we read that Abraham’s faith was tried when he was called upon to offer up his son, Isaac.  As a result of his faith, he was compliant to God’s wishes and was prepared to complete the sacrifice.  What was his motivation to make this incredibly difficult decision?  He knew God was faithful in keeping His promises and He had power over physical death.

Basically, Abraham thought along these lines…

  1. God has promised me that Isaac would have descendants.
  2. As of yet, Isaac has had no children.
  3. I know that God will not break His promise, therefore, God is not done with Isaac.
  4. If God is not done with Isaac, God will still fulfill His promise and use Isaac, even if I sacrifice him.
  5. Therefore, if I sacrifice Isaac, God (having all-power) will raise Isaac from the dead and use Isaac for His glory to fulfill His promises to me (Abraham).

WHAT GREAT FAITH!!!!  Abraham’s faith was blessed, as God supplied the ram as a replacement for Isaac.  God received the ram as a  “figure” (symbolic replacement) of Isaac.

Would to God, when we are called upon to serve will remember His faithfulness to His promises and His all-mighty power to intervene and give us the victory.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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  1. I have read and heard of Christian missionaries who watched their children being brutally killed because they would not deny Christ, and wondered if I could do the same. (I know that IF God called me to such a thing He would also give the enabling, but I can’t imagine the trauma)

    The account of Abraham about to kill his son has always been extremely challenging. Yes, of course I believe God. Of course I believe His promises. I know God cannot break His Word . . . but to actually kill my son??? Yes, Abraham had the promises of God, but what a challenge!

    Lord, when You ask of me a comparatively insignificant thing, may I respond immediately, knowing that with Your command comes Your enabling and the fact that You CANNOT do other than keep Your Word. You want to bless me more than I want to be blessed and Your care of me is unquestionable.

    What an amazing God!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Angela, Thanks for your commment. your comment is so true… you’ve got me thinking about it now! The Lord askes so little from each of us… it is such a pity that many times, I stop and think about it without ever considering that He could ask so much more of me. I say that to my shame. Lord bless you Angela…

  2. Debbie says:

    Rob, there was something so precious in this and in your and Angela’s exchange. You have me thinking too. Praying that when a sacrificed is asked for, that I can follow this pattern of thought and not let my own logic kick in. God bless you and this special way He has given you of helping us study His word!

    • Rob Barkman says:


      Thanks for your kind words, once again. And yes, I know all about the logic thing kicking in! I struggle with it alot when I am called to make big sacrifices. Sad to say, at times it wins out. I say this to my shame. Lord bless you.

  3. granbee says:

    For any parent, this is the most powerful example of unquestioning faith in God’s promises a faithful follower can imagine, I have always thought! Thank you, Pastor Rob, for such a strong affirmation and teaching on Abrahams’ profound faith in God’s promises!

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