Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for week ending 04/21/02.
The Doctrine of the Abrahamic Covenant. Part 2.
As we continue in our study of the Abrahamic Covenant, a review of our first 8 points:
Point One: In the doctrine is a definition of the Abrahamic covenant; an unconditional covenant (agreement, disposition) between God as party of the first part in favor of Abraham and his progeny as the party of the second part.
Point Two: The Original Declaration of the Covenant, GEN 12:1-3.
Point Three: The Land Promise in the Abrahamic Covenant, GEN 13:14-16. The Palestine Covenant.
Point Four: The covenant was confirmed to Isaac, GEN 26:3-4.
Point Five: The covenant was confirmed to Abraham's grandson Jacob, GEN 35:12.
Point Six: The covenant was confirmed at the time of the Exodus, EXO 6:2-8. This was the time for the formation of the Jewish nation.
Point Seven: The Mechanics of the Abraham Covenant Demanded Ultra-supergrace Sexual Prosperity, GEN 17:1-7;ROM 4:13-18.
Point Eight: Circumcision is the Ritual of Confirmation and Acknowledgment that this is an Unconditional Covenant,GEN 17:9-14; ROM 4:13-18.
We are now on Point Nine: Amplification of the Covenant is also after Abraham Passes Momentum Testing, GEN 22:17-24.
GEN 22:1-2, Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
Here we see the attitude of Abraham, the New Testament tells us what that attitude was in HEB 11:17, By faith or by means of doctrine resident in the soul, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac;
The Greek verb is a perf-act-ind of prosphero which means that he offered up the most valuable, the most important thing to him in the world, his uniquely born son, Isaac. Abraham did this with the intent of slaying just as God commanded. The perfect tense of the verb tells us that the action was totally done in the mind of Abraham even though he didn't have to complete it. This shows us that a believer can be blessed even though he has not done certain things because God knows he would have done them given the opportunity.
Paul said in 2CO 8:12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have.
HEB 11:17, By means of doctrine resident in the soul Abraham, when he was being tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises went right on offering up his only begotten son;
Actually the Greek says "his uniquely born son," and that describes Isaac because he was uniquely born from two people who were sexually dead, his father was 100 years old and his mother, was beyond menopause at age 90.
In this sense, Abraham is analogous to God the Father in that he was willing to sacrifice his uniquely born son Isaac. Issac is therefore analogous to The Lord Jesus Christ as one who was innocent.
Abraham was willing to do it in order to please God the Father which is the same thing we are told concerning God the Father in Isa 53:10, Isa 53:10, "But the Lord [God the Father] was pleased To crush Him [Jesus Christ], putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering.
Abraham had been given a great blessing, the challenge was, are the blessings more important than the One who gave them?
This is a challenge and a test that every believer in super-grace or spiritual maturity will face, the same test that anyone with positive volition must take.
In MAT 10:37 our Lord said, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
So back to HEB 11:17-18 By means of doctrine resident in the soul Abraham, when he was being tested, offered up as a sacrifice, Isaac; and he who had received the promises went right on offering up his only begotten son; it was he[Abraham] to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called." He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type.
Very few people in all of human history have been tested as Abraham was tested on this occasion. As we have seen, Abraham took many tests and he passed many of them and failed many of them. But Abraham learned from his failures as well as from his successes. Abraham came to possess a tenacious attitude about the essence of God and he realized the total importance of divine resources and divine essence.
The more he learned about his own inabilities, the more he realized from doctrine in his soul, the importance of the ability of God and the essence of God.
In this chapter we see Abraham at his greatest, he is between 125-127 years old. His son Isaac according to Josephus, a Jewish historian, was about 25-27.
GEN 22:1-22, Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
The phrase "Take now your son" is a command and an invitation for Abraham to have the privilege of making a sacrifice for the Lord in the angelic conflict. The phrase in the Hebrew actually says "Please take now your son" and denotes the fact that God has respect for Abraham.
This is very unusual because God says that there is not even one righteous man among mankind, ROM 3:10-18.
In the eyes of God, vanity is the best that man is, PSA 39:5b, Surely every man at his best is nothing but vanity. Selah.
Man's good deeds are said to be filthy dirty rags, ISA 64:6, For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
Man's head is described for us by God in ISA 1:5-6, The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing sound in it, Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds.
Man's heart is described for us in JER 17:9, The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
There is one thing that God does have definite respect for and we've study it before, God honors His word. Abraham is a man who has maximum doctrine in his soul.
In the phrase "Take now your son" we have in the Hebrew "eth-binekha", bin means son, and with the suffix it means "your son"
Abraham has two sons, this could be rationalized to mean Ishmael. However, the next word dispels any possibility of getting Ishmael into the picture. GEN 22:2, And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac,
The Hebrew phrase used here for "your only son" is "eth-yechidhekha" is equivalent to the Greek word monogenemeaning uniquely born son.
This then is the beginning of a parallel. Isaac was a son who was uniquely born, not like our Lord with the virgin birth, but he was born from two members of the human race who were sexually dead.
Abraham now has to face whether or not the command of God is more important than his love for Isaac.
One writer made this statement; "We can never gauge our love by feeling. The only true test of love is how much we are prepared to do for the one to whom we profess it."
The Lord said in JOH 14:21, "He who has My commands [doctrines] and keeps them, he it is who loves Me"
On the surface, this command of God appears to be irrational, a mistake!
However, there's an issue here that is not obvious on the surface, the principle of the justice of God!
God is fair and His justice is impeccable, He cannot be unfair and He cannot make a mistake.
Never in the history of the human race was a believer more occupied with the Giver rather than the gift, than Abraham. He has perfect confidence in the justice of God.
Abraham has a confidence that never once in five days questions the justice of God.
GEN 22:2, And He said, "Please take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
The land of Moriah is the same place that is later called Zion and the mountain of Moriah is the hill on which Solomon built the Temple, 2CH 3:1. In fact, one of the hills on Moriah is later called Golgotha or The Skull and we see it later in LUK 23:33, And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
For Abraham, the event that God has commanded is, as with all great spiritual tests, accomplished in total isolation without encouragement or discouragement from friends, relatives or people who might be critical and not understand.
The Tester is God, and what other people think, say or advise is absolutely of no consequence.
An ultra-supergrace examination or a test when the believer is at spiritual maturity contains many ways to fail and only one way to pass.
When it comes to our relationship with the Lord that's what it has to be...us and Him.
Our relationship with the Lord doesn't have a thing to do with other people it has to do with doctrine in our soul. If we ever reach spiritual maturity, one thing that we shed in a hurry is public opinion or what other people think. People won't understand that attitude, they will be highly insulted that they have not been consulted with.
But in spiritual maturity the believer posses so much doctrine that it's always between them and the Lord....and no one else!
Even though there may be a lot of people who have their own opinions about what's happening in our life, we answer to God only.
In Gen 22: The burnt offering is a part of understanding the initial adjustment to the justice of God. The burnt offering represents the concept of propitiation and how it takes a sacrifice, the sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ and it represents the impeccability of the humanity of Christ being offered up to God the Father for all of our sins. As sins were all poured out upon The Lord Jesus Christ, the justice of God the Father judged our sins being born by Christ and justice was satisfied.
For justice to be satisfied, justice has to have something to judge, that's what took place on the cross.
GEN 22:2, And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go for yourself to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
This is an invitation for Abraham to have the privilege of making a sacrifice for the Lord and glorifying God in the angelic conflict.
Abraham is spiritually mature and he has adjusted to the justice of God that qualified him for fantastic opportunities and blessings. However, before these fantastic blessings continue, Abraham must have his doctrine tested, this principle of testing found in 1PE 1:7.
The Lord is going to put him through a test which proves whether or not the gifts (blessings) or the Giver is more important to Abraham.
The mature believer always places greater emphasis on the Giver rather than the gift. Being occupied with the Giver makes the gift totally and perfectly enjoyable.
No person has ever been honored with such a difficult examination.
Remember that God will never test an individual beyond what he is able to bear, 1CO 10:13. Therefore, the very fact that Abraham could bear such a test reveals his spiritual status.
In Gen 22 the phrase "offer him there as a burnt offering" means killing his son and burning his body. Giving back to the Giver the gift which was given to him approximately 25 years before.
Human viewpoint says this is irrational, unreasonable, and doesn't seem to be fair. However, we must remember that God is perfect and only makes perfect decisions.
Abraham, as an ultra-supergrace believer can only think of God as fair and perfect in His judgment, if God says do it, there's nothing to do but to do it.
In one of the greatest tests ever given, two men are involved, their relationship to the Lord and the women just waits for the blessing.
Sarah doesn't even have to sweat out the five days that Abraham is gone.
Five days later she has a better husband than she ever had before.
One of the greatest tests that all women must face is the waiting test. In fact, in most cases, it takes a greater person to rest and wait than to get involved with the action.
Notice the silence of Sarah illustrates her tremendous poise and trust in her husband as well as in The Lord Jesus Christ.
Sarah, as a mature female believer, had that phenomenal ability to wait.
Sarah is going to be blessed as never before.
Abraham is occupied with Christ, Sarah is occupied with Christ and occupation with Christ is true capacity for life. Sarah is as noble as Abraham in her very own way by not even being mentioned in this passage.
In Abraham's most difficult hour she was not a burden to him. When a man is called by the Lord to do something, he is going to have enough obstacles to deal with as it is, therefore he doesn't need extra burdens from the woman.
GEN 22:3, "So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him."
Understanding how everything relates to the righteousness and justice of God is so important to every believer who approaches Spiritual Maturity.
Our attitude toward divine essence and especially our attitude toward His justice!
Is God fair?
Is God just?
Many believers have constant set backs because they never answer this concept concerning of the justice of God.
Until the believer's life lines up with the justice of God, they will be under discipline until the Lord comes back.
So the entire verse again says GEN 22:2, And He said, "Please take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go for yourself to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you or point out to you."
There is no conflict in the soul from such a command when the believer is mature. This command only seems irrational to the believer who has not arrived to the point of maturity.
You see Abraham believes that God cannot lie!
This is why HEB 11:19 says, He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead.
This is why he said in GEN 22:5 to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and we will return to you."
One thing about the mature believer, he not only understands the justice of God, he understands the authority of God. When God gives a command, obviously God cannot make a mistake and God is in control.