Come, Follow Me with Living Scriptures | Old Testament Lesson 8: February 14–20 “Is Any Thing Too Hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18–23 | Line Upon Line

Come, Follow Me with Living Scriptures | Old Testament Lesson 8: February 14–20 “Is Any Thing Too Hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18–23 | Line Upon Line

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Obedience & Sacrifice

Genesis 18-23 | February 14-20

Abraham and Sarah had been promised that they would have a son. Even though Sarah was old, and it seemed impossible that she could have a baby, she gave birth to Isaac. Nothing is impossible for God. Abraham and Sarah were so happy to finally have a son.

One day, God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. Even though it was very difficult for Abraham to be obedient, he took Isaac to the mountain where God had asked him to go and prepared to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Before Isaac was harmed, an angel stopped Abraham, and a ram was provided as a sacrifice.

The sacrifice of Abraham’s only son reminds us of God’s sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Abraham was willing to be obedient and sacrifice for God. God promised Abraham many blessings. We can show obedience when we keep the commandments even when it’s difficult. Our sacrifice will bring blessings.

Genesis 18: Abraham entertains three holy men—They promise that Sarah will have a son—Abraham will command his children to be just—The Lord appears to him—They discuss the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Genesis 19: Lot entertains holy men—The men of Sodom seek to abuse Lot’s guests and are smitten with blindness—Lot is sent out of Sodom—The Lord rains brimstone and fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah—Lot’s daughters preserve his seed in the land.

Genesis 20: Abimelech desires Sarah, who is preserved by the Lord—Abraham prays for Abimelech, and the Lord blesses him and his household.

Genesis 21: Sarah bears Isaac—He is circumcised—Hagar and her son are cast out of Abraham’s household—The Lord saves Hagar and Ishmael—Abraham and Abimelech deal honorably with each other.

Genesis 22: Abraham is commanded to sacrifice Isaac, his son—Both father and son yield to the will of God—Abraham’s seed will be as the stars and the sand in number—In his seed, all nations will be blessed—Rebekah is born to Bethuel.

Genesis 23: Sarah dies and is buried in the cave of Machpelah, which Abraham buys from Ephron the Hittite.

Watch

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, Lot’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.

If you feel this video has helped you on your path towards truth and Christian discipleship, please subscribe and share. Most importantly, go read the Scriptures for yourself.

Read and Discuss

Scripture

Genesis 22:12

“And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”

Questions

  • Why was Abraham willing to sacrifice his son for God?
  • Why was Isaac willing to be a sacrifice?
  • What are some things we can sacrifice for God?
  • How does sacrifice show our love for God?

Quote

“Sacrifice is an amazing principle. As we willingly give our time and talents and all that we possess, it becomes one of our truest forms of worship. It can develop within us a profound love for each other and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through sacrifice our hearts can be changed; we live closer to the Spirit and have less of an appetite for things of the world.” Carol B. Thomas

View past lessons & resources on our website.

More Resources

Activity

I’ll Sacrifice for Him

Use this activity to discuss ways you can show your love for God through sacrifice.

Treat

Butterscotch Altars

These treats will remind you of Abraham’s obedience and the ancient ordinance of sacrifice that symbolized the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Song

He Sent His SonChildren’s Songbook page 34

 

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