Case Studies in Faith:
The Depth of Abraham’s Faith
Hebrews 11:17-19 (ESV)
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,  of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”  He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
So far through chapter 11 of Hebrews we’ve witnessed events of one time acts of faith namely, that of Abel. We’ve witnessed long durations of faith in that of Enoch who walked with God and Noah who built a ship. We saw the beginning of Abraham’s faith as God called him and gave him the gift of faith. Now, we’re going to look at the depth of Abraham’s faith. The phrase, O’ you of little faith doesn’t apply to Abraham here in this text. Perhaps the phrase O’ you of amazing faith does apply.
Human need that these verses address is our need to exercise faith when the cost is high and our understanding is low.
Truth Taught- We learn obedience by the things which we suffer at the loving and providential hand of God.
Hebrews 5:7-8 (ESV)
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
This verse is also true of Abraham.
Genesis 22:1-14 (ESV)
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.”  He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.  On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.  Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.  And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.  But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.”  He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”  And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
In Genesis we are blessed to have the narrative account preserved for us. In Hebrews we get a more in depth picture as to what was going on in Abraham’s mind during all this.
I want to zero in on verse two of the Genesis account and pick out a couple of things that will help us understand Hebrews. Continue Reading