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A REVELATION OF…….THE SEVEN REVELATIONS OF 'THE LAMB' Part 2

The progressive revelation of the character and role of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The Bible is the ongoing story of both obedience and disobedience to God, and the resulting consequences for the participants, both good and bad.

Abraham is a classic example of both! Fortunately, he is primarily remembered for his obedience in his willingness to sacrifice his most precious son Isaac, if that was his God's will.

Let's see what Abraham's actions are saying to us today.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

DEFINITION OF TERMS

(For Serious Students Only)

LAMB

LAMB OF GOD

SACRIFICE

SACRIFICE AND OFFERING
I. In the Old Testament
II. In the New Testament

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

LAMB OF OBEDIENCE Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac

 

 

THE STORY

 

Abraham and his family were nomads, wandering from place to place as food supplies for their stock ran out in the adjacent area. Abraham bestrode his times, as did Moses and Jesus in their kingdom ages. He believed in and was faithful to the one true God, at a time when generally, many gods were worshipped.

God chose Abraham to be the natural father of what was to become his chosen people, the Jews - and the spiritual father of all Christians today. For a wandering nomad to believe this promise took some imagination and faith! Particularly as he and his wife Sarah, had been unable to have children. But believe he did!

 

 

Genesis 15:6

 

 

Reality is, the greater the promises we are given by God, the greater the testing of our faith will be. It doesn't pay to desire more in God than you are prepared to accept in associated trials and testings!

Abraham was put to two particular tests. The first one he failed, proving his humanity. For he was forced to wait many years after receiving the promise of an heir, continually trying and failing, until finally Sarah reached menopause and the promise was no longer humanly possible. So together, they decided to help God out! Not a good idea! Another one we experience the consequences of today. Abraham was given his wife's maid Hagar to sleep with, in order to produce the promised successor, in the normal custom of the times. Hagar produced Ishmael, starting the line of Abraham through which the Moslem religion traces its spiritual ancestry.

However, in due time, God intervened. Sarah became pregnant by Abraham supernaturally, for she was past menopause. Isaac was born. Sarah at 90 was delighted!

 

 

Genesis 21:5-7

 

 

Fortunately for Sarah at 90, she would have had servants to look after the baby. God had proved himself faithful. Proven faith builds greater faith. This was going to be necessary for the next test! Everything was going well. Isaac was growing up strong and healthy. The succession to the promise of the nation was assured - at least for another generation. That is all we too, can ensure today.

One day however, the biggest test of Abraham's faith came.

 

 

Genesis 22:1-2

 

 

Can you imagine Abraham's thoughts, doubts and questions! "Surely this can't be right God!" But, after his experience with Isaac's birth, he knew that he could trust God. And so he obeyed him.

 

 

Genesis 22:3-5

 

 

When they reached the place God told Abraham to go, Isaac and he set off up Mount Moriah. Where incidentally, 1100 years later, David built an Altar on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. It was also the site of Solomon's Temple and today is the site of the Moslem Temple, the Dome of the Rock. A place steeped in history.

 

 

Genesis 22:6-8

 

 

Once they reached the top of the mountain, Abraham would have informed Isaac that he was to be the sacrifice, and something Isaac possibly already suspected. Isaac would have had to co-operate, for he was in his teens and Abraham was nearing 120! Why did he? Because he believed his father when he had told him over the years of his youth that his progeny were to be the next generation of the 'Chosen Race'. Perhaps he and his father thought that God would provide a substitute, or more likely, Isaac would be resurrected in order to fulfil his role. Providing an emerging picture of Jesus. Both Abraham and Isaac were obedient to the Lord.

 

 

Genesis 22:9-10

 

 

The test was passed. 

 

Genesis 22:11-12

 

 

A substitute ram (male sheep) was provided. Now a clear picture of Jesus who was to become our substitute sacrifice.

 

 

Genesis 22:13-14

 

 

Abraham had proved his faith, so the covenant of the nation was confirmed through his obedience. 

 

Genesis 22:13-14

 

 

This action of Abraham is confirmed in the book of Hebrews, where the comparison to the resurrection of Jesus is clear.

 

 

Hebrews 11:17-19

 

In Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac we have the second biblical picture of the death of Jesus on the cross.

 

OBEDIENCE ON THE CROSS

 

Jesus was the ultimate example of obedience. He knew the agony that the cross would be. He didn't want to do it! Yet He remained as obedient to the Father then, as he had been all His life.

 

 

Luke 22:39-44

 

 

Right unto His death, after which He was glorified to the highest place in Heaven.

 

 

Philippians 2:5-11

 

 

The writer of Hebrews succinctly summed up the results of his obedience, and their reward. 

 

Hebrews 5:7-10

 

OUR RESPONSE

 

As Jesus was obedient to the Father, so we are to follow his example. Jesus Himself was quite definite about this!

 

 

Luke 11:27-28

 

 

We are to obey Him, and through following Him, we will obey the Father.

 

 

 

Obedience in following His teaching is a necessary requirement and proof of our love for Him and the Father. Believers insufficiently understand this. Obedience in following His commands is the primary sign of our belief in and love for Jesus. If we don't obey Him, we don't truly love Him!

 

 

John 14:23-24

 

 

Paul talks about his call to apostleship (note that there is no capital 'a'. It's a job description, not a title), one to which he was obedient and suffered greatly for. This call was to bring the gentiles into obedience.

 

 

Romans 1:1-6

 

 

Paul makes the point even more strongly when he set out basic Christian theology in Romans. We have the choice of sin and death, or obedience and righteousness. There is no middle way!

 

 

Romans 6:15-16

 

 

However, when we inadvertently go wrong, there is a way out. Not sinning but obeying the commands of the father, is the ideal.

 

 

1 John 2:1-3

 

 

John confirms that the basis of obedience is adherence to the 'Golden Rule' Jesus proclaimed, of loving both God and people.

 

 

1 John 3:23-4

 

 

And a primary way of doing so is through the 'Great Commission'. This has two parts. Firstly sharing the 'good news' with non-believers. We often neglect the second part of the instruction though. Turning believers into disciples through obedience to the commands of Jesus.

 

 

Matthew 28:18-20

 

CONCLUSION

 

Obedience to God was at the centre of the life of Abraham and the overriding characteristic that separates him from others. If asked to mention one event from Abraham's life, 99% of us will mention Isaac's sacrifice, the ultimate test of a man's obedience.

The cross too, is the key event in the life of Jesus. Once again, His sacrifice was a test of obedience. May we too, follow in His footsteps, being unconditionally obedient to God's Word for us.
 

 

Luke 22:42

 

NEXT WEEK: A REVELATION OF...THE SEVEN REVELATIONS OF THE LAMB - Part 3

 

That Jesus came as the fulfilment of the Feast of Passover, where the blood of the lamb was placed on the door-post to provide protection against the angel of death, is generally well understood in the church today.

It is at the very heart of our faith. We will see what happened.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

Unfortunately, although we can be forgiven for disobedience, we still have to live with its consequences.

I wonder what the world would be like today had Abraham had waited for God to fulfil His word with the birth of Isaac? Would the world today be a more peaceful place had there been no descendants of Ishmael? Would there be harmony in the Middle East?

Lord, may we be your obedient servants.

Ancient Jewish Common Person's House

Illustration of the ancient house of an Israelite commoner.

Source: http://www.bible-history.com

 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

926. Obedience is refined in the fire of testing.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

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