Bible Study: One Foot in Front of the Other, week one
ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER: ABRAHAM
Week One of Four
This four-week study will include emphasis on the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Noah & Esther. How they obediently placed one foot in front of the other. Weeks one & two we concentrate on Abraham.
GENESIS 22:1-19 Abraham & Isaac. Abraham is told three things:
a. Take his son
b. His only son, Isaac
c. Whom he love.
And each expression becomes more intense! Salt in the wound, testing, or what exactly? Could GOD be emphasizing the intense sacrifice aspect?
2) They travel for (interestingly) three days – the bible is silent about that emotion-filled journey.
a. Was Abraham distracted those three days, anticipating how he was going to go about this? Was he in turmoil? Questioning God to the final hour? Surely the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. MARK 14:16
3) Did he pray for this test to pass from him or was he resting on experienced obedience?
4) Even though Abraham knows this won’t be the last of his son (Verse 5b) “He will come back to you” he so willingly puts one foot in front of the other and submits. Most likely with a heavy heart, Abraham is after all, flesh and bone. If it were easy it wouldn’t be A) a test B) A sacrifice.
Genesis 22:9-13 and Abraham ties Isaac up.
a. Be careful not to put these men and women of the bible in a “superhuman” category. Yes, their faith is superior and their experience in witnessing God’s previous miracles strengthened their faith and loyalty. But every one of them still dealt with their flesh and doubt, just as we all do. People are people.
b. How is Isaac reacting? He most likely has guessed that something was going to happen during their journey since they had not brought an animal for the sacrifice. He has been taught how to sacrifice to God by Abraham! Isaac brings the subject up when the chips are down (Verse 7) has his heart been troubled the entire journey? Quietly questioning his father’s mental state? He’s old enough to carry the wood and carry on an intelligent conversation (Verse 8) is he conflicted? Surely Isaac is feeling anticipation at the bare minimum, he realizes what is about to happen! Remember God did not talk to Isaac about this proposition, only Abraham!
Is Abraham wondering if he has heard the Lord’s Voice correctly? I often wonder if I heard Him correctly, particularly when He directs me to do something that appears illogical to me. Or is Abraham amazingly trusting and displaying utmost loyalty to his Lord’s directives? Regardless, are there tears in his eyes as he raises the knife?
Is Isaac looking into Abraham’s eyes with confused pleading, “Dad…?”
c. God wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart, so that it would be clear Abraham loved God more than his promised, long-awaited son. This painful, heart-wrenching journey strengthened Abraham’s character and deepened his commitment to God. Abraham also learned God’s ability to provide.
Did Isaac learn these lessons as well, as a willing participant in a bizarre scenario, witnessing his father’s turmoil and God’s loving provision?
Take the time to go through this slowly, placing yourself first, in Abraham’s shoes. Meditate on the full impact of these events through the week. You may be surprised at how little life events during your week will remind you of God calling you to give up and to sacrifice the “Isaac’s” of your life; the things you cherish most. You just might be surprised to discover what some of those “Isaac’s” are!
Now, go through the scenario again, from Isaac’s perception.