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1 And it came to pass after these things, that Elohim did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
Elohim tempting Abraham - Bro Thomas' suggestion the tempter of Yahoshua in the wilderness was angelic is not without precedent.
And finally the promised son was born. How infinitely precious the seed would be, after such a long and trying period of waiting! Abraham and Sarah were now old. All the hope of the promise for which they had waited for a quarter of a century was centered in the boy Isaac as he grew to manhood.
But still God had not finished the trial and perfecting of Abraham's faith. The greatest test was yet to come, when it seemed that all testing must now surely be over
Bro. Growcott - Shall A Child Be Born?
2 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.
The typical offering - a burnt offering the consumption of sin's flesh.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
This was the death and resurrection of the Yahweh-Name bearer represented to Abraham dramatically. It taught him, that the Seed to be chosen for him, who was to
"possess the gate of His enemies, and in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,"
should suffer a violent death, and then rise again to fulfil his destiny.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh Yireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of Yahweh it shall be seen.
Yahweh Yireh; He who shall provide..."In his name" is here an all-important phrase, for apart from this great name, there is no repentance nor remission of sins for Jew or Gentile. "There is salvation in no other; for," continues the Spirit in Peter,
"there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved"
(Acts iv. 12)
Eureka - The Name.
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith Yahweh, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
The offering of Isaac by Abraham offers a further illustration of these principles. The embarrassment of the moderns in reference to this case is perfectly gratuitous, and due solely to the fact that they ignore, or fail to apprehend, the primary relation of God to man. They tacitly regard creation as existing for man's behoof and convenience. God's rights have vanished from their calculations. His proprietary relation to the universe is not a practical idea with them. They have reduced God to a beneficent principle or a passive impersonal energy with an intelligent turn, and have practically exalted man to the throne of the universe.
Consequently, such an action on the part of Abraham as tying Isaac with cords, and laying him on an altar and lifting a knife to slay him, they cannot understand as a divine transaction at all. It is inconsistent with their notions of what is due to man...
If they could but learn...that God is a real God, a personal God, of an individual intelligence localised in substantial glory in the heavens, yet embracing measureless immensity by the effluence of His invisible energy, out of and by which He has made all things in His wisdom and for His glory, they would come easily to see that man is but an insignificant permitted form of His power, of no more account with God, even in his national aggregations and pomps, than the dust that a man sweeps out of his doors (Isaiah 40: 15).
Coming to see this, he would come to estimate aright God's wonderful condescension in having anything to say to man at all, still more in His having arranged for such a wonderful emancipation as has been offered in Christ on the condition of faith and obedience.
He would cease to wonder at the multitudes of rebels that have been swept from the face of the earth in God's dispensational visitations, and would wonder rather at the patience that permits so many generations of them to brave heaven with their insane effrontery. He would learn to perceive wisdom and fitness in the discipline to which he subjects, in various ways, the men who fear before Him in a reasonable way, especially in view of the fact that the race is in a state of alienation from Him, and that His dealings with men have been to invite approach, with a view to reconciliation on His own principles.
In such a state of enlightenment, no man would have any difficulty in understanding the offering of Isaac in the naked facts just as they stand recorded. It was a putting of Abraham to the test to ask him to offer up in sacrifice his only son (by Sarah), whom he loved, and concerning whom he had been expressly informed that in him should the promised seed be called, raised up, and developed. It was a powerful - a staggering test - but not unsuitable to the case of a man whom God was proposing to constitute the father of the family to whom He should give the everlasting inheritance of the earth in the ages of immortality and glory.
He was not allowed to proceed to the full extremity of the test; but he was prepared, and proceeding to do so. His action was arrested when the purpose was served. The practical result of it is thus defined by God Himself...
Now how could Abraham have been exalted to the great blessedness, of having the promises based upon the foundation of his individual obedience under great trial, without God showing His visible hand, and miraculously (as men talk) revealing to Abraham His will? No occurrence in nature could have served such a purpose: and no evolution of "Providence" would have given Abraham the distinct direction that was necessary to put his faith to so great a proof.
It may be said that in this, there is a barrier placed between us and Abraham, since we have no miraculous experience in the way of test. The barrier is only seeming. Though there has been no miraculous communication direct to us in a personal sense, we are the recipients of such communication in so far as the communications by the hand of Jesus and the apostles are intended for all who listen and receive them.
These were as direct and miraculous as in the case of Abraham, and in many particulars, they contain the same elements of test as the offering up of Isaac, and were intended to have this effect as regards believers. Many of the commandments of Christ are of this test order.
They put obedience to the proof and exercise us directly in the recognition of God and in practise of patience in preparation for exaltation. They are intended for no other purpose.
When Christ commanded his disciples to resist not evil and to give way to the aggressor and to refrain from taking vengeance, it was not that it is in itself a good thing for the evil to have the upper hand, or the wicked to go unpunished. On the contrary, his purpose is in the end to destroy the evil and inflict direct vengeance on the offenders, even to the point of merciless extermination, and that too by the hand of the saints.
But the command to his people meanwhile to submit to wrongful suffering, like sheep in the midst of wolves, and to return evil for evil to no man, is one of many ways in which the commandments of Christ lay the foundation of a tried and obedient faith in all those who submit to them, against the day of power and exaltation and glory.
Visible Hand of God Ch 7
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.