Author: Ron Graham

Genuine Faith

After the Laughter
—Abraham and Isaac

This lesson is about Abraham and Isaac, and how Abraham’s faith was tested. This is an important story for Christians because the faith of Abraham is typical of the faith which justifies and saves us (Romans 9:7, Galatians 3:6-7,26-29)

1 Laughter at God’s promise

(A) At first Abraham laughed at the promise that he and Sarah would have a son in their old age (Genesis 17:5-19).

(B) On another occasion, Sarah likewise laughed at the promise (Genesis 18:9-15).

(C) As a matter of interest, the name "Isaac" means "mocking laughter".

2 After the laughter, faith

(A) Both Abraham and Sarah nevertheless took hold of the promise from God and grew stronger and stronger in faith. Their faith even included a full assurance of eternal life in heaven through Christ (Hebrews 11:8-16).

(B) The promise that they would have a son, Isaac, is the common denominator of the three promises made to Abraham, namely...

(C) Abraham’s faith was severely tested. After Isaac was born and had grown into a lad, God commanded Abraham to kill Isaac, his only begotten son on whom all the promises depended. (Genesis 22:1-18, Hebrews 11:17-19).

NoteONLY BEGOTTEN: means born unique, one of a kind. Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God, yet “all who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Isaac was not Abraham’s only son, but the “only begotten” son of promise (Hebrews 11:17)

3 The foreshadowing of Christ

(A) When Abraham was commanded to "Take now your son, your only son" and make him a sacrifice, this foreshadowed God taking his only Son and making him a sacrifice (Genesis 22:2, John 3:16).

(B) When Abraham said, "God will provide for himself a lamb my son" this foreshadowed that salvation is by grace not by merit. In God’s scheme of redemption he himself had to provide the necessary sacrifice, since no one else could. Thus God gave Jesus his Son to be "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Genesis 22:8, John 1:29 see also Hebrews 10:11-12, 1Peter 1:17-21).

(C) When God stayed Abraham’s hand (Genesis 22:11-12), this foreshadowed the resurrection of Christ. Abraham had said to the men minding the donkeys, "We will return" (Genesis 22:5). He believed that both he and Isaac would return because even if he killed Isaac, God would bring him back to life (Hebrews 11:19).