【Bible Study】Genesis 22: Offer The Best to The God We Serve
Pastor Samuel Sharing
Brother William Sharing
Bible Study: Genesis
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 00: Introduction to Genesis
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 01 Part 1: May the will of God be done!
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 01 Part 2: Having A Vision Like God
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 01 Part 3: Make Things Happen
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 01 Part 4: Having A Vision Like God
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 02 Part 1: All of God's Creation Have Life!
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 02 Part 2: All of God's Creation Have Life! (2022-11-28)
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 03: People who Disobey the Word of God Will Be Cursed
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 04: You Shall Overcome Sin
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 05: Comfort in Labour and Painful Toil
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 06: The Way of Destruction and Salvation
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 06: To Walk with God or To Be a Hero
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 07: God is in Control
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 07: Only the Righteous and Those Owned by the Righteous Can be Saved
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 08: God's will is prosperity, not destruction!
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 08: The Desire of Our Mighty God
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 09: God sees People as Honorable
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 09: God's Desire is to Let Us Be Fruitful and Multiply On Earth
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 10: Blessing and Curse, Destruction and Mercy
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 10: Land, Languages, Clans,and Nations are Spiritual Matters
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 11: People Who Make Their Own Name Will Cause Destruction
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 11: The Corrupting Logical System of the World
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 12: Follow Abraham and Live for Eternal Life
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 12: Pay the Price For Destiny
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 13: A Person's Perspective Determines Their Future
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 13: Follow Abraham's Mindset and Understand Blessing and Curse
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 14: God Made Abram’s Name Great
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 14: The Almighty God Delivers Your enemies Into Your Hands
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 15: Becoming a Blessing to Many People
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 16: God Is the God Who Sees Us
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 17: Nothing is Impossible for God
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 18: How Abraham Gained Access to God's Promise
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 19: Lost Destiny, Lost Everything
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 20: Rely On God
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 21: Inherit The Divine Promise of God
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 22: Offer The Best to The God We Serve
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 23: You Are A Mighty Prince Among Us
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 24: God of Abraham Will Make Me Successful Today
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 25: Never Despise Spiritual Things
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 26: We Saw Clearly That The Lord Was With You
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 27: Only Character Counts
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 28: The Price You Pay For Spiritual Blessing
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 29: The Faith Enduring 14 Years
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 30: The Time to Yield The Fruit of Blessing
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 31: "God Is with Me" Is Most Valuable
- 【Bible Study】Genesis 33: The God of Israel
Good morning, everyone. It is really nice to have time together to study the word of God. Genesis Chapter 22 is one of the most exciting chapters and an amazing revelation from our Lord.
This chapter is talking about offering the best or the most valuable things we have to the Almighty God. When Moses wrote the story in this chapter, he had led the Israelites out of Egypt. In the desert, Moses was trying to build a tabernacle for Almighty God and encouraging all Israelites to offer themselves and give their best to Almighty God because God would provide and never be short of anything. We are supposed to have salvation from Almighty God. That's interesting!
When Moses wrote this part of the story, it started with Abraham to Moses. The story was actually from the storytelling of Israelites as they had a deep and rich history, and the story of Abraham became a well-known story for all Israelites.
Genesis Chapter 22 is about offering the best or the most valuable things we have to the God we serve. At that time, Abraham got his only son Isaac, the other son Ishmael was no longer with him as he was sent away in the early days. After many years passed, Isaac had grown up and one day God wanted to test Abraham.
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. (Genesis 22:1-4)
We are shocked by the way Abraham responded to God which is beyond our imagination. Let’s take a look at this in more depth. Abraham got up in the morning and prepared for the journey. Let me ask you a question: “Did Abraham sleep well at night?” I think Abraham was struggling with a few things in his mind. The first thing was: “Why did God ask me to offer my only son? Oh God, can you just take my life and keep my son alive?” Do you wonder if Abraham was thinking like that? The Bible did not mention anything about what Abraham was thinking. I am just speculating that Abraham was struggling. Abraham was also struggling with another thing, God said that only Isaac was reckoned and would have offspring, all nations and kings would be through Isaac. Abraham was thinking: “God, do you still want me to offer Isaac to you?” If you ask me: " Did Abraham not struggle with anything?" I think so. If Abraham had another son, probably he might not struggle as much, but Isaac was the only son Abraham had.
Inside the mind of Abraham could be confusing. “Lord, if I offer my only son to you, what about the offspring and descendants you have promised me, where are they coming from?” If God wants you to offer what you have and what you love the most or the most valuable thing to you, or more valuable than your own life. Do you want to offer that to our Lord Jesus Christ?" After a tough struggle, Abraham came up with a conclusion: “After I have offered my son Isaac to God, God will make him come back to life again.” That was Abraham’s logic: “If my son was reckoned and his offspring would become a great nation, the descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Abraham believed the only conclusion was: “Isaac will surely come back to life and be resurrected.” Abraham believed in the power of Almighty God, and there was nothing impossible for God. God is a God who can raise the dead to life. But the struggle was to believe God was Almighty God and could do anything. He was making Abraham experience the mighty power again.
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. (Genesis 22:3-4)
Abraham brought with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. And on the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance, which meant they had walked on the road for two days. I am not sure whether they had a pleasant journey, probably everyone stopped talking because they did not know what to do. Abraham was struggling: “Should I tell my son Isaac that he will be a burnt offering to Almighty God? Should I keep him informed? If I inform Isaac, will he run away in the middle of the road?” Abraham probably spoke to his son: “My son, life is meaningless, offer ourselves to God because God will provide! This is one of the best things that can happen in our life.”
In our modern days, we call that ‘brainwashing’. In fact, that was not just two or three days of indoctrination. Ever since Isaac was born, Abraham had been teaching him about the meaning of life and Isaac inherited the same point of view of life from his father. That was the reason why Isaac told his father in the middle of the way: “Yes! Father, I know what you mean, you have been teaching me over the past years.” Abraham and Isaac were the most amazing people in the world. How do I know? Abraham bound Isaac and put him on the altar. Isaac was willing to offer himself to the Lord. Whenever I am reading this chapter, my tears will flow down because it was a tough decision. People who have this kind of mentality, thinking logic, and belief, are willing to offer themselves to the Lord.
Many years ago, I was reading Genesis chapter 22, and I was asking myself a question: “What happens if God also asks me if I'm willing to give the best to Him?” How am I going to answer the Lord? “Are you willing to offer your life to me, not only your life but everything you own?” And I was telling myself to the Lord: “Yes, my Lord.” Although it was just a mental exercise, I had made a decision. I said to the Lord: “My life only belongs to you.” Now you can understand why I serve the Lord so much because my life belongs to the Lord. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. God doesn't want my life, God wants to give life to me instead. God is a good God; God wants to bless all of us and have His son Jesus Christ. I would like to encourage all of you to make a decision. In case one day God also asks you to offer your best or the one you love the most to Him.
This is the belief and faith of Abraham. Not just by making a random decision, but Abraham had made a very good calculation. The calculation is that God is blessing me, God the God who doesn’t want to take anything away from us, but instead, He wants to give all his best things to us. Abraham made a wonderful decision. And I think I have made a wonderful decision too, I follow in the footsteps of Abraham.
Today, if I ask you why Christians are not getting the blessings they are supposed to. One of the simplest reasons is that they have failed the test. They do not understand that the decision Abraham made was the most wonderful decision he ever made. This decision was much better than the one in the previous chapter. It is because Abraham did not keep his son, his only son, but offered him, whom he loved the most to the Lord
Almighty. Then you know what? God said this
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:17-18 NIV)
Trust me, if you do not carry the faith of Abraham, it’s very hard to get a blessing. If you live for God, die for God, and God is your everything, you're willing to give everything to Almighty God. Let me assure you that God will speak to you “I will surely bless you.” This is how Christians are supposed to believe. This is the faith of Christianity, the same faith as Abraham. There was a dialogue between Pharisees and Jesus Christ. The Pharisees said “Oh, we are the children of Abraham,” but Jesus Christ said, “No, you are children of the Viper, the snake, the serpent, you are the children of the devil.”
Don't ever think that because you go to church, attend the service, and sing songs praise to God, Jesus will not say that you are not the children of the devil. Why? Because Pharisees did the same thing. They went to the temple every day, did tithing every month, probably even every week. But Jesus still said that they were the children of the Viper. What kind of dialogue was it? Do you know why? Because these are the people who didn’t inherit the faith of Abraham. They said, “Oh that is very difficult.”
God is looking for people who inherit the same beliefs, logic, mind, and the same God of Abraham. About 10 years ago, I attended a prayer meeting. After the meeting, there was a break. I had nothing to do. I did not want to go for a drink or some snacks. So I knelt to pray, and suddenly I heard the Lord talking to me:" Are you willing to die for me?" At that moment, I remembered what I learned from Chapter 22 when I had the Bible study of Genesis years ago. Then I cried, my tears dropped, I said: "Lord, you know me. You know I'm willing to die for you. I would like to offer my whole heart, all of myself to you, my Lord." The dialogue ended here. The Lord did not talk back to me anymore, he did not speak any more things.
My heart is always full of gratitude to God: I'm not worthy, and yet you treat me like this. You even spoke to me and asked if I was willing to die for you. I'm a human being, a speck of tiny dust on the earth. Yet the Almighty God sits on the throne in heaven. I'm not worthy but I'm willing. This is a wonderful grace. I know what I'm living for. I'm looking forward to a day when I stand in front of Almighty God, God will say: good servant, you have obeyed my word, you have followed in the footsteps of Abraham, you are the one I'm looking for, come and share my glory. I would like to encourage you to ponder before God speaks to you. How are you going to respond if God asks you the same question?
If you take Isaac and the dialogue is like this: father, the fire, and the wood are here, but where is the lamb? Wow, an amazing question! In the heart of Abraham, he would say: my son, you are the lamb, you are the one that God asked for. But he did not say that, he said: "my son, God will prepare, God will provide". When they went up there, Abraham said: " my son, you are the one". And then Abraham bound Isaac. At that time, Isaac was not 10 years old. He might be between 20 to 30 years old. He was quite a mature but single adult. He later got married at the age of 40, and Abraham was over a hundred years old. How could an old man bind a young man like this?
Isaac already prepared himself for God a long time ago. He knew his life came from God. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all inherited the same thinking. That was not learned by brainwashing or by education. That’s why Isaac reckoned. At the moment when Abraham took up the knife, God said to Abraham:
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12, NIV)
About 2000 years later, Jesus Christ, God’s only son, was born to this family. We did not offer our sons to God, instead, God offered his only son to us. It’s not that we can bless our Lord, but God wants to bless us. Do you want to see more blessings? Then you should start from the bottom and build up the foundation.
The foundation of faith means you need to know that life is meaningless. I know a lot of people will say they know life is meaningless. But when God asks them to offer, they say: " Oh, no, let me think about it." What do you think about the conversation? If God says: Abraham, hand over your only son to me. Abraham said: " Oh my God, let me think about it." The moment you consider, God does not want you anymore. But Abraham never talked back to God saying “ let me consider.” God doesn't want those kinds of people.
This is exactly why I’m saying so many Christians are shortchanged. They have made the wrong calculation. They do not know God is the God who wants to test us before blessing us. He needs to see if we can pass the test. If Abraham did not pass the test, will God give him blessings? So many Christians are living under a curse. Do you know why? There's nothing between curse and blessing. It’s either under the blessing or under the curse, either you obey or you disobey, either your trust in the Lord, or you don't, or either you follow in the footsteps of Abraham, or you don't. It is very clear.
So let me tell you, my brothers and sisters, I paid a heavy price to follow Abraham. But it is worth it because I have done my calculation. I know what I was doing. The foundation is whether you live 60,70, or 80 years old, or even if you can live up to 90 years, life is meaningless. I looked down on everything. A lot of pastors do not understand what I think. I can lay down anything for the Lord. Did I lose anything? No. I gain the blessings of Almighty God, God is with me. God is really with me. Anything I do, I can see God‘s presence with me.
Do you know why? Because I follow in the footsteps of Abraham, the footsteps of Isaac, the footsteps of Jacob and Joseph. That's why I encourage all of you to take the blessings, following in the footsteps of these greatest people ever in history. You will take possession of the city of the enemy, your enemy will be trampled underfoot, all the nations on earth will be blessed. This is simply because we obey the word of God. No compromise!
One day, I was leading the Bible study on Genesis chapter 22. A lady, whose husband got possessed by the devil, the whole family lived under a curse. A week later, she came back with a silly question while I was doing the Bible study on Genesis chapter 23. She said:" Pastor, I don't quite agree with what Abraham did." "You don't agree? Why don't you ?" She said because he did not inform Isaac beforehand, Isaac had the right to be informed.
She was criticizing what Abraham did not keep Isaac informed. That was essentially what she was concerned about. Deep down in my mind, I was saying to myself that no wonder you were living under a curse. You were walking totally opposite Abraham. Whether to keep him informed or not, was not important. The most significant thing was that Abraham offered his only son, Isaac to God. But she was talking about the most trivial matter. And even today, I don't think they will ever be able to live under blessings with that kind of mindset and thinking logic. They did a completely wrong calculation.
Her husband went into business with other business partners. I know a few of them. He did a great job, made a great contribution to the team. But they took away the earnings, did not pay a penny for his work, and kicked him out of the project that was yielding results. So she asked me why. I told her that was a curse but she didn't agree. Never mind. He was a good person, very kind, but it was no use at all.
No matter how nice you are, if you are not walking along the footsteps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it makes no sense at all. I hope I have imparted this kind of thinking to you. I know you have a struggle, but with a clear direction in mind, under the mighty power of Almighty God, the foundation of meaninglessness in life, we live for God. In the end, everything will be easily overcome. No more struggle! And God will say:" I will surely bless you". Thank you for spending the time with me.
I will see you next week.
May the Lord bless you!
Tags Curse Struggle Blessing life is meaningless compromise Faith Offer the best to God Test from God Belief in God God will provide Live and Die for God Walking along the footstps of Abraham Trample the enemy don’t criticize Abraham Offer yourself to God Abraham’s mentality Isaac’s mindset Foundation of Life