Posted On December 2, 2020

Hebrews 11:17–19, “17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

Though we have the privilege of living under the new covenant, we still wait to receive some of the things that have been promised. These things — the new heavens and the new earth, perfect holiness, uninterrupted fellowship with God — are not yet here in our day-to-day experience. But they are a positional reality, anticipating the future. Jesus has done the work necessary to achieve all of these things. Those of us who are in Christ are seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:4–7). Therefore this promised inheritance really is ours even though God has delayed its full manifestation in our everyday lives.

Only through true persevering faith are we granted these promises, first as a positional reality and then later as an experiential one. A prime example of persevering faith is found in today’s passage. In Hebrews 11:17–19, we are reminded that by faith Abraham offered up Isaac. These verses refer to Genesis 22, where Abraham faithfully obeyed God’s command to sacrifice Isaac on the altar.

But why was this offering such an act of faith? The answer is that Isaac was the child of the promise (Heb. 11:18). Remember that God promised Abraham many descendants but seemed to delay a long time in fulfilling this promise. After many years Isaac was born (Gen. 21:2), and through him the promised nation would come (v. 12).

Imagine how hard it was for Abraham to obey God through this sacrifice. God was asking Him to do something that might invalidate the promise. For if Isaac, the child of promise, was killed, how could God be true to His Word to make a nation from Isaac?

Abraham trusted God anyway. He knew that God would keep His promise and name descendants through Isaac even if he was sacrificed. His confidence in God made him know that God would be true to His promise in Isaac even if He had to raise Isaac from the dead (Heb. 11:19). He knew that though it might seem impossible, following the command to kill Isaac would not nullify God’s promise.

John Owen says that “sometimes, through God’s providence, there may appear to be inconsistency between God’s commands and his promises. Nothing but faith bowing the soul to divine sovereignty can reconcile this.” True faith, like Abraham’s, believes that God can do the impossible.

Coram Deo

God’s command that the Messiah must die (Isa. 53) seemed at first glance to be inconsistent with His promise that Messiah would rule the earth (Zech. 9:10). But now we see that both are perfectly consistent. We must resolve in our hearts to trust God even if His will may sometimes seem inconsistent to our limited understanding.

The Offering of Isaac, Copyright (2020), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

The Matter of Whether Necessary Evil Is Biblical or Not

The Matter of Whether Necessary Evil Is Biblical or Not

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Is a Necessary Evil Biblical?” What you’ll hear in this episode How Scripture Speaks of Evil. Three Helps for Facing Evil and Suffering. Subscribing, sharing, and your feedback You can subscribe to the Servants...

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Romans 11:23-24, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive...

Dave Jenkins- The Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition

Dave Jenkins- The Relationship Between Scripture and Tradition

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers the meaning of Sola Scripture, tradition, and the value of church history, the authority of Scripture, Christian conscience, and tradition, and why the Church has good answers to the issues of the day. What you’ll...

What’s the Problem? Dealing with Life

What’s the Problem? Dealing with Life

We live in a day where everybody seems to have problems constantly. I often feel like I am surrounded by people saying, “I do not know how to adult,” while I am sitting at my desk thinking, “Well, I do.” Sure, some of this is just a Western cultured joke, but the...

Broken Branches

Broken Branches

Romans 11:19-22, “19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the...

Approved Workers

Approved Workers

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave continues the 2 Timothy series looking at 2 Timothy 2:14-21 and teaching Christians the truth and how to handle error correctly, and dealing with false teachers. What you’ll hear in this episode Dealing with false teachers....

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share25
Reddit
Email
Buffer
Tweet