Friends of God,The Altars of Abraham: The Altar of Surrender Genesis 22:1-9
THE ALTAR OF SURRENDER
This is one of the great mountain top passages of the Bible. In it, we find one of the clearest pictures of the coming sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. It seems as though God used the life of Abraham as a canvas to paint a portrait of His Own heart as He willingly gave His Own darling Son to die for the sin of man. This is usually how we approach this passage. However, there is another dimension to this text.
I would like to look at this passage from Abraham’s perspective. As I read the Bible, I am confronted with the truth that no other man was called upon to give so much. Yet, as Abraham’s sacrifice to the Lord is offered, we do not see the heart of a devastated broken man. Instead, we see the heart of a worshiper! I believe there are lessons that we can learn from Abraham today.
As you and I pass through this life, there will be demands made on our lives by God. Often, these demands will call for personal and profound sacrifices on our part. From a human perspective, we may not want to participate in what God calls us to do. However, God’s demand from your life and mine is total, absolute, and unquestioning obedience to His perfect will. Even though we know this, there is still a part of us that wants to rebel against the command of God for our lives.
The real question of surrender is who do we love most?
God isn’t really interested in your Isaac’s, it’s you He wants!
I. INVOLVES PERCEPTION vs. 1-2
Note: We must be in a position to hear God.
A. This Demands A Relationship – are you saved? Is your heart right with God?
B. This Demands A Readiness – true faith enables a readiness to obey God without reservations!
C. This Demands A Revelation – God revealed His plan for Abraham’s life. This was a necessary part of the process, for no man can know the mind of God until it is revealed to man by God.
1. Notice How God Defines His Commands – “thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” 3 things!
2. Notice How God Details His Commands – God always reveals the next stop…maybe NOT the whole picture!
3. Notice How God Darkens His Commands -however, God does not give the why…you have to trust God!
II. INVOLVES PREPARATIONS vs. 3-5
Note: As we observe Abraham doing what the Lord commanded, we see a man who is throughly prepared. There are three areas in which Abraham made his preparations.
A. His Hands Were Prepared vs. 3
-Abraham instantly obeyed…procrastination is the reason for us missing so many of God’s blessings!
B. His Head Was Prepared vs. 4-5a
-There was a 3-day journey to think over EVERY angle but Abraham’s faith continued to move him forward! Compare this to his journey into Egypt!
C. His Heart Was Prepared vs. 5b
-Abraham knew why he was there and chose to worship God there…worship: to ascribe WORTH to someone..HE KNEW GOD’S CHARACTER and CHOSE to BELIEVE!
III. INVOLVES PARTICIPATION vs. 6-14
A. This Participation Is Personal vs. 6
-you cannot trust, or wait, on someone else to do the work…God has called you PERSONALLY
B. This Participation Is Profound vs. 7-10
SIDE NOTE: When John the Baptist answered Isaac
C. This Participation Is Powerful vs. 11-14
1. He Received God’s Provision vs. 11-14
Note: Think about it, while Abraham and Isaac climbed one side of the mountain, a ram was coming up the other side of the mountain! God had already gone ahead and made a way! Our God is still Jehovah-Jireh. When we do what He tells us, no matter what the cost, we will see Him bless in a profound way!
2. He Received God’s Praise vs. 12
This was never about Isaac, it had always been about Abraham! God wanted Abraham in that place of total surrender and love for Him.
3. He Received God’s Promise vs. 15-19 God renewed His covenant with Abraham.
So, is everything you have and are totally, absolutely and completely surrendered to God? God isn’t really interested in your Isaac’s, it’s you He wants! Does He have all of you there is to have?
Can you say that you are a friend of God? Jesus said, you are his friend, if you do what he says.
Consider your altar of faith?
Consider your altar of prayer?
Consider your altar of separation?
Consider your altar of surrender?
Will you bow your knee to the altar of Jesus?
Hebrews 13:10, “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.”
Let’s bow at the foot of Calvary and let Jesus lead each step!