Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS
I have been walking with God now for 38 years, and I can truly say that I have never seen the RIGHTEOUS forsaken nor his seed begging bread. But this is only applicable to those who continue to walk by faith. I come to understand that faith puts us in a position to render unto the Lord, for the Psalmist states in 116:12 “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?” I was intrigue by the event recorded concerning Abraham’s opportunity to prove his love and faith in God! For this Golden Nugget, I would like to provoke the thought “Your Sacrifice to God, Shall Never Exceed the Fulfillment of His Promises.”
The following scriptures will be used to provoke further gospel provocation:
Gen. 22:1-3 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.”
There are various kinds of trial, trial from the hand of Satan; trial from surrounding circumstances; but the highest development of one’s character are those trials that are ordained directly from the hand of God. He allows us to be put into the furnace for the purpose of testing the reality of our faith. God has to do this, to reveal our reality in Him! That’s right, our heart must be purged to the extreme so that there is no element of hypocrisy or false profession. God never said “give me thine head, or thine intellect, or thy talents, or thy tongue, or thy money;” but “give me thine heart!” Hence, the Lord says to Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt-offering, upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” Wow!, now you know that this had to come very close to Abraham’s heart. This request truly required a deep, deep search of truth in the inward parts.” There can always be an expression of truth on the lips, and in the intellect, but God looks for what is in the heart. Ordinary tangible proof will not satisfy God like the intangible proof of the love we have for Him in our hearts. God Himself went beyond ordinary when He gave us His Son, His only begotten son to show striking proofs of His love for us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.
This has to mean that we are extraordinary as chosen people of God. If you will notice we never read in the word of God that “the Lord did tempt Lot.” why? because; Sodom tempted Lot! Lot never elevated spiritually to a level that would warrant him to be tried by the hand of God. His actions perpetually manifested that there was enmity between Lot’s heart and the Lord, and because of this manifestation, it did not require the furnace of affliction to bring out what was in him. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Sodom was not a temptation to Abraham at all. This is made apparent when we read about his interaction with the King of Sodom in Genesis chapter 14. God knew well that Abraham loved him far better than Sodom; but He would make sure that Abraham loved him better than anyone or anything, by laying his hand upon the closest and dearest thing to Abraham’s heart. “Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac.” Yes, Isaac, the child of promise; Isaac, the promise of a long deferred hope, the son who was loved deeply by his parents, the one in whom all the kindred’s of the earth were to be blessed. This child of promise must be offered as a burnt-offering. Wow, you better believe that this was surely putting Abraham’s faith to the test, as the Apostle Peter stated 1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
My brothers and sisters, if Abraham’s whole heart was not oriented toward God completely, he could have never yielded unhesitatingly to the obedience of the Lord. But Jesus was the abiding force that sustained Abraham’s heart, for the word states in Acts 17:28 “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”
To attempt to give up the visible things in any other way, except by faith which fully embraces the invisible, is a waste of time and effort in the sight of God. It just won’t do, Heb. 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” It is when we are enabled, by faith, to say as in Ps. 46:1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”
So Gen. 22:3 states “And Abraham rose up early in the morning.” There is ready obedience. “I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” Faith never stops to look at circumstances, or ponders the results; it only looks at God.
In my 38 years of walking with God, I must admit that there are some extraordinary operations and ways the Spirit of God moves in His own sovereignty. He rises far above our finite comprehension and parameters; but, when this is the case, there is always evidence of His divine move that convicts our hearts toward deeper devotion to Him! To sacrifice a son might seem to be an act of most extraordinary devotion, but, notice the willingness to obey the command is what gave this act profound value in the sight of God.
My brothers and sisters, we have another thing connected with Abraham’s true devotion to God, and that is a spirit of sonship, notice the statement “I and the lad will go yonder and worship.” It is because he kept his eye on the Master, it produced a spirit of worship. If we love the master, more than the flesh, our state of mind will always be to serve in the spirit of worship. Let’s look at the celestial beings that were created to serve God; If two angels were sent from heaven, one to rule an empire, and the other to sweep the streets, they would not dispute about their assigned task, and it should be the same with us. The servant should never be disconnected from the role of a worshiper. This is why the words rendered out of the mouth of Abraham are so pertinent, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship.” Saints this shows us that our worship has to be effectual, and go beyond mere mechanical service that have us doing things for the sake of doing them. This routine causes us to be occupied with our work more than with the Master. Both are mutually inclusive, and hence are governed by simple faith in God, and obedience to His word. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Notice what it states in Heb 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises, offered up his only-begotten.” It is only as we are walking by faith that we can begin, continue, and end our works in God. Abraham not merely set out to offer his son, but he went on, and reached the spot which God had appointed. “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife: and they went both of them together.” And further on we read, “And Abraham built an altar there; and laid the wood in order; and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.”
Saints, now we see FAITH IN ACTION and at WORK, “a work of faith and labor of love,” in the highest sense. It was no mere mockery by just drawing near with the lips, while the heart was far off. It is easy to make a show of devotion when there is no demand for it, but the point is can you stand the trial when there is a demand for devotion?. When Peter was put to the test, he entirely broke down. Faith never talks of what it will do, but does what it can in the strength of the Lord. Nothing can be more thoroughly worthless than a person who’s spirit is of empty pretension. Pro. 25:19 “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” It is just as worthless as the basis on which it rests, you can’t put any pressure on it. But faith acts “when it is tried;” and until then it is content to be unseen and silent. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters there was not a scene in Abraham’s entire history in which God was more glorified as the scene on Mount Moriah. It was there where he was able to bear testimony. It is one thing to rest in God’s blessings, and another thing to rest in God. It is one thing to trust God when we have before our eyes the channel through which the blessing is to flow; and another thing to trust Him when that channel appears to be entirely clogged up. This was what proved the excellency of Abraham’s faith. He showed that he could not merely trust God for an innumerable seed while Isaac stood before him in health and vigor; but he still had to trust God when Isaac was about to become a smoking victim on the altar.
This showed an elevated confidence in God; this is what I would call unalloyed confidence; it was not a confidence propped up, in part, by the Creator, and in part by the creature. It truly rested on the premise of God Himself. “Abraham accounted that God was able.” He never accounted that Isaac was able. Isaac, without God, was nothing; God, without Isaac, was everything. Does it make any difference to us to see when the channel of all our blessings appear to have dried up? Can we still maintain a worshiping spirit? It is obvious that Abraham understood God’s sufficiency, hence he was able to stretch forth his hand and take the knife to slay his son because his eye rested on the God of resurrection. “He accounted that God was able to raise him up even from the dead.”
Because of Abraham’s faith the Lord did not permit him to strike the blow. Abraham proved that he had operated within the parameters designated by God; he had come up to the line, which beyond the Lord would not permit him to go. The Lord spared Abraham’s heart the pain which He did not spare His own heart, in the smiting of His own Son (JESUS), blessed be His name, passed beyond the utmost parameters, Rom. 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Isa. 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
My brothers and sisters realize that there was no voice from heaven when Jesus was on the Cross at Calvary, when our Father offered up His only-begotten Son. No; it was a perfectly accomplished sacrifice; and, in its accomplishment, our everlasting peace is sealed. Hence, Abraham’s devotion was fully proved, and fully accepted, for God tells him For now “I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.” Please notice Gods reply; “now I know.” It is not that certain things prior to this event did not count in the sight of God, but they did not have the impact of faith that this work produced. The valuable point here, is, that God received His knowledge by the palpable evidence of what Abraham puts on the altar at Mount Moriah. Faith is always proved by action, and the fear of God by the fruits which flow from it. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar” (James 2:21)
Who would think of calling Abraham’s faith into question? Take away faith, and Abraham appears on Moriah as a murderer, and a madman. Take faith into account, and he appears as a devoted worshiper, a God-fearing, justified man. But faith must be proved. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works” (James 2:14). God looks for this reality and honors it where He sees it. We are surrounded by the profession of religion; the phraseology of faith is on every lip; but faith itself is as rare a gem as ever, I’m talking about that faith which will enable a man to push out from the shore of present circumstances, and meet the waves and the winds, and not only meet them, but endure them, even though the Master of the sea seems to be asleep on the pillow. GOLDEN NUGGET!
I now want to show the beautiful harmony between James and Paul, on the subject of justification of Abraham’s faith. The Holy Spirit graciously used each of these pillars of the Church as the pen to write His thoughts, just as I write these excerpts to you. Hence it is just as impossible that these divinely inspired men of God could clash concerning Abraham being justified by faith.
Paul gives us the inward principle, James the outward development of that principle; Paul presents the hidden life, James the manifested life; Paul looks at man in relation to God, James looks at God in his relation to man. We need both: the inward cannot do without the outward; and the outward would be valueless and powerless without the inward. “Abraham was justified” when “he believed God;” and “Abraham was justified” when “he offered Isaac his son.”
In the former case we have his divine standing; in the latter, his public acknowledgement by heaven and earth. My brothers and sisters it is imperative that we understand this distinction. There was no voice from heaven when “Abraham believed God,” though in God’s view he was there, then, and that was “counted righteous;” but “when he had offered his son upon the altar,” God could say, “now I know;” and all the world had a powerful and unanswerable proof of the fact that Abraham was a justified man. Saints where there is the inward principle, there will be the outward act; they are mutually inclusive. If you disconnect, for one moment, Abraham’s act, i.e. the execution of his faith as set forth by James, and Abraham’s believing faith as set forth by Paul, then what justifying virtue does it possess? None whatever. All its value, all its efficacy, all its virtue, springs from the fact that it was the outward manifestation of that faith, by virtue of what had already been counted righteous before God.
Let us now return back to Abraham’s Mount Moriah experience. It is deeply interesting to see how Abraham’s soul is led into a fresh discovery of God’s character by the trial of his faith. When we are enabled to bear the testing’s of God’s own hand, it is sure to lead us into greater experiences with respect to His character, which makes us to know how valuable test and trials are. If Abraham had not stretched out his hand to slay his son, he never would have known the rich and exquisite depths of that title which he here bestows upon God, “Jehovah Jireh.” (God Provides) It is only when we are really put to the test that we discover what God is. Without trials and tribulations we are nothing but theorists, and God is not impressed with that. He wants us to learn of Him, by entering into the living depths provided by Himself, which only comes and is substantiated through the divine realities and personal communion with Him. Wow, what different feelings and convictions Abraham had to experience when he retraced his steps from Mount Moriah to Beer-sheba! From the mount of the Lord to the well of the oath! Wow what a different revelation in God! What a different revelation about Isaac! What different revelation about everything! Truly we may say, “Happy is the man that endures trial.” It is an honor that is put upon us by the Lord Himself, and the deep blessedness of the experience concerning where it takes us cannot be comprehended easily. It is when men are brought, as stated in Psalm 107, “to their wits’ end,” that they discover who and what God is.
My brothers and sisters notice the gracious way in which God gives Abraham credit for having done the act which he had showed himself so fully prepared to do. “By myself have I sworn, says the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing, I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: because thou hast obeyed my voice.” This beautifully corresponds with the Holy Spirit notice of Abraham’s action, as put before us in Heb 11 and also in James 2. In both scriptures he is looked upon as having offered Isaac his son upon the altar. The premise conveyed is this: Abraham proved that he was prepared to prove his faith and prove God on this glorious occasion, which put him in position to be a justified man.
Faith can do without everyone and everything but God. It has the full sense of His sufficiency, and hence can let everything go except God. Hence Abraham could humbly receive the words from the Lord “by myself have I sworn.”Yes, this powerful word, “myself,” was everything to the man of faith. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swear by himself… Heb. 6:13.20 “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
There it is Saints, we profess to believe God, and love Him; but ah! How deep is it? Can we draw “strong consolation” from our faith in his promised word. Are we prepared in the power of faith, and in the promise of God, to slay our Isaac? In these last and evil days we need to perpetually cry out to God that He continue to be gracious in endowing us with a deeper insight into the reality of a life of faith in Him. So that we may continue to understand better the essentials rendered in 1 Jn. 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
We can only overcome the world by faith. Unbelief puts us under the power of present things; in other words, it gives the world the victory over us. A soul that has entered, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, into the sense of God’s sufficiency, is entirely independent of things here. My beloved brothers and sisters, may we continue to know that our peace and joy comes from the glory of God that is within US. Hence “Your Sacrifice to God, Shall Never Exceed the Fulfillment of His Promises.” Have a “JESUS DAY”