Come Follow Me LDS 2022 (Feb 14-20) Genesis 18-23 | The Abrahamic Sacrafice – powered by Happy Scribe
Is anything too hard for the Lord? No, his power is far greater than we sometimes give credit. Abraham and Sarah have been married for 60 years, have no children together, and Sarah is now not 90. But they’ve been promised a great posterity, gratefully with God, nothing is impossible.
Let’s start with the bad news. The Lord tells Abraham that he’s going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their exceeding wickedness. But Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family are living there, wanting to protect the righteous, including Lot’s family. Abraham pleads with the Lord, if you find 50 righteous in the city, will you spare it? And the Lord says, If I find in Sodom 50 righteous, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Then Abraham starts bargaining with the Lord for 45 souls, then 40, then says, 30, maybe 20. Please don’t be angry. But how about ten? Patiently, the Lord ultimately agrees to not destroy the city if he finds ten. Unfortunately, there aren’t ten righteous people.
Lot and some of his family are the only righteous ones there. So God mercifully sends two Angels to warn Lot and his family to flee quickly. But they dillydally, and the Angels are compelled to grab the hands of Lot. His wife and two daughters hastily take them outside the city, telling them to hurry away to safety and commanding them not to look back. Brimstone and fire rained down thunderously upon Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying the wicked cities and their inhabitants.
Tragically, Wat’s wife looks back and, well, the Bible says she turned into a pillar of salt. Who knows if that’s literal or figurative? But it’s unlikely that physically looking back is what did her in. Apparently, the desires and thoughts of her heart never left the city. She’d enjoyed that lifestyle and struggled to let it go.
The Lord always knows our thoughts and desires, and although we might live in a bad place, the bad doesn’t need to enter or stay in our hearts. Now for the great miracle, God reveals to Abraham that Sarah will bear him a son. Sarah overhears this in the tent and rejoices. Abraham is also stoked, but then quickly thinks, Wait a minute, Sarah is 90. How can this be?
The Lord responds, is anything too hard for the Lord? He then continues saying, he’ll bless Sarah. Their son should be called Isaac, and his Covenant will continue with him and the appropriate amount of time later, this true miracle happens, and Sarah gives birth to Isaac. Having waited for decades for a child of their own, Abraham and Sarah are thrilled and love Isaac exceedingly. Many years later, God plans a test for Abraham and Isaac.
He already knows what will happen, but he wants them to learn who they are. It’s often through tests that we discover our real strengths. God tells Abraham, Take thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Mariah and offer him as a burnt offering. Completely stunned, Abraham is nonetheless immediately obedient to one of the greatest tests ever given to one of God’s prophets. He gathers wood, a knife, and his son Isaac, and they travel three days to Mount Mariah.
Now imagine Abraham’s anxiety and grief as he remembered his own father’s attempts to sacrifice him. We don’t know exactly how old Isaac was. He could have been quite young, but he also could have been in his 30s. And since Abraham is well over 100 years old, Isaac is certainly much faster and stronger than his dad. Therefore, Isaac likely carried the wood, built the altar, and willingly made the incredible choice to obey his father.
Exactly. Now imagine this loving father with tears falling down his face, explaining to Isaac what the Lord has asked him to do. And then Isaac, in similitude of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, slowly climbing onto the altar to be sacrificed himself. Then picture Abraham slowly raising the knife to slay his son. And at this exact moment, the angel of the Lord calls out, Abraham, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, for now I know that thou fearest God, since thou hast not withheld thy son.
Thine only son from me. Abraham then notices through his tears a Ram caught by his horns in a Bush. And he takes the Ram and offers it up for a burnt offering in the place of his son Abraham. And Isaac’s major test is a huge foreshadowing of the sacrifice of heavenly Father’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ. And while many of us know Isaac is a symbol of Christ, let’s dive deeper.
Both births were considered impossible and therefore miraculous. The sacrifices were on the same mountain. Galgatha, where Christ was crucified, is near Mount Mariah. Neither Christ nor Isaac were victims, and both made their own choices. Isaac knew what was happening and freely chose to give his life.
Just as Christ willingly sacrificed his life, both fathers freely offered their only begotten sons, and Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac teaches us about God the Father’s personal sacrifice. Abraham and Isaac returned home as new people. The experience changed them and made them stronger for the rest of their lives. Just like when Christ returned home, life on Earth was forever changed. For all of us.
There are certainly many more similarities. What others can you think of?
Next week we’ll learn about the great romance between Isaac and the wonderful woman he’ll marry. It’s better than a Hallmark movie. It takes a lot to make these videos, so to keep line upon line free for everyone, consider donating the links in the description below. And thanks for watching. This episode is packed with info so you might want to watch it again to make sure you didn’t miss anything, including the hilarious jokes.
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