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Do You Obey In Faith    Gen. 22:1-6, 9-18    Feb. 10, 2008

Where do we regularly see demonstrations of a church body walking by faith. Now I know our churches exists because people have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus, but what about the walk of faith? I am afraid too many of us walk "in" the faith but not very much "by" faith. Most of the pastors I know do not see out of the ordinary steps of faith being regularly demonstrated. Perhaps we pastors are to blame and we need to ask the question of this lesson personally, and congregationally; Do You Obey In Faith?

1. Obey In Faith . . Receiving The Command Of God? 22:1-2

A. Receiving The Command Of God With . . Accountably. 22:1
        1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he answered.

B. Receiving The Command Of God With . . Astonishment. 22:2
2 "Take your son," He said, "your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

        When God spoke Abraham's name it seems he responded quickly with accountability. It was similar to a military private reporting to the General for duty. I think this announcement from the Lord astonished Abraham. How can this child be offered as a burnt offering and still become an heir with the promised blessing. How will his seed be multiplied as the stars of the sky if Isaac becomes a burnt offering. We don't have any record of this kind of thinking by Abraham but we don't have everything that took place.

2. Obey In Faith . . Responding To The Command Of God? 22:3-6

A. Abraham Responded With . . Affirmation. 22:3
3 So early in the morning Abraham got up, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.

B. Abraham Responded With . . Anticipation. 22:5-6
5 Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we'll come back to you." 6 Abraham took
the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together.

        Whatever went through Abraham's mind when the Lord commanded him to sacrifice Isaac; the next day he responded with affirmation as he prepared for the trip. All the details of verses three and four move from getting up to saddling the donkey and splitting fire wood gives the atmosphere of affirmation. He plans to carry out his assignment with haste. The phrase in verse five, "then we'll come back to you." demonstrates anticipation of the Lord's action. The New Testament Book of Hebrews says, " By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; . . . 19 He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead,. . ." (Heb 11:17-19 HCSB) Few biblical characters have registered more faith or anticipation than that.

3. Obey In Faith . . Respecting The Command Of God? 22:9-14

A. Abraham Respected And . . Initiated the Details of The Command. 22:9-10
9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him
on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.

B. Abraham Respected The . . Interruption of The Angel. 22:11-12
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" He replied, "Here I am." 12 Then He said, "Do not lay a hand on the
boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me."

C. Abraham Respected The . . Improvising Sacrifice. 22:13-14
13 Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son.
14 And Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide, so today it is said: "It will be provided on the Lord's mountain."

        Abraham demonstrated his respect of the Lord's command in the manner he initiated as he got the detailed preparations ready for the trip he and Isaac must take. As God noticed the specific obedience, He interrupted the sacrifice. He did this because he had a ram caught in a thicket that served as His improvising sacrifice. In verse seven Isaac asked his dad, "where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" God provided a ram for Isaac, and He provided a Spotless Lamb for our sin.

4. Obey In Faith . . Rewarded From The Command Of God? 22:15-18

A. Abraham Rewarded Because He Did Not . . Withhold From The Lord.. 22:15-16
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done
this thing and have not withheld your only son,

B. Abraham Rewarded Because He . . Willingly Obeyed the Lord. 22:17-18
17 I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gates of their
enemies.  18 And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed My command." HCSB

        Abraham's faith receive the rewards of God. This reward came because he did not withhold for the Lord. I see too many Christians who do not trust the Lord enough to believe He will reward them if they act in complete obedience. Abraham obeyed willingly. No doubt he learned from past mistakes, but he did learn. Do we still need to ask, Do You Obey In Faith