Genesis Chapter 22 Questions and Answers

In Genesis Chapter 22, we see how Abram is a picture of God and his son is a picture of Christ and how they both foreshadow the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

About these Answers

Day One

1.  God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering to test him (verse 1).  What do the following Scriptures teach us about the testing of God?

  • 2 Chronicles 32:31 - God may test us to see what's in our hearts
  • Exodus 20:20 - God tests us so that we will fear or obey Him and not sin against Him
  • Deuteronomy 8:2 - Our obedience to God's commands is an indication of what is in our hearts

Although God may test us, we are not to test God as indicated by Deuteronomy 6:16.  Also, God does test us; but, as we learn from the Epistle of James, He does not tempt us.  When we're tempted it's because of our own evil or sinful desires (James 2:13-14).

2. Can you share a time when you think God was testing you?  How did you respond and what did it teach you about God or about yourself?

Your answer here

Day Two

3.  How is this record of Abraham and Isaac similar to the record in Genesis chapter 21 of Hagar and Ishmael?

In both cases:

  • the journey involves a sad departure for a son of Abraham (Ismael and Isaac)
  • Abraham got up early in the morning (21:14; 22:3)
  • Abraham prepared provisions for the journey - bread and water for Hagar (21:14); and split wood for Isaac, the fire and knife (22:6)
  • an angel provides a message of God's rescue when the son is near death (21:17-18; 22:12)
  • God opens the eyes of both Abraham and Hagar to His provision of water and a lamb to save the sons (21:19: 22:13)
  • a promise of God's blessing is given for the offspring of the sons of Abraham - Ishmael will become a great nation and Isaac will possess the gates of his enemies (21:18; 22:17)

4.  In Genesis chapter 22, verse 2, we find the first occurrence of the word 'love' in the Bible.  Henry Morris notes in his commentary The Genesis Record, that it's given in the context neither of a husband and wife, nor of a mother and her children, but that of the love of a father for his son.  Morris goes on to point out the first uses of the word love in the Gospels are similar in context. 

In the first three Gospels, as Jesus begins His ministry and is baptized, God's voice comes from Heaven and says "This is my beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).  In the fourth Gospel, we find perhaps the most famous Scripture of all time: 

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, HCSB).

How does this review of the first uses of love in the Old and New Testaments help understand the love of God?

God loved His son Jesus Christ yet He allowed Him to be sacrificed for our sins.  In fact, there's no better example of the love of God for us than this.  The Epistle of Romans tells us that "God proves His own love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" (Romans 5:8). 

No one will ever fully understand God on this side of heaven.  However, we can begin to understand how much He loves us because we can understand the pain and anguish of a father sacrificing his one and only beloved son - his innocent son!  We gain an even deeper understanding of the love of God when we think not just about the anguish of the father making such a sacrifice but the reason for it - the sacrifice was for the sake of God's relationship with an unworthy and sinful people.

The love of God is beyond our comprehension and your value to God is immeasurable and much more than you can fully realize.

Day Three

5.  This chapter provides the last occurrence of God speaking to Abraham.  He speaks to Abraham through the Angel of the Lord in verses 15 to 18.  He swears by Himself and tells Abraham that because he has not withheld his only son from Him and obeyed His command, He will do four things. 

Which of the four things is a new promise to Abraham?

God restates His previous promises of three blessings to Abraham.  In verses 16, 17, and 18 He told Abraham that because he obeyed Him: 

  • He would bless him (as He said at 12:2)
  • He would make his offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky (as He said at 15:5) and the sand on the seashore (He said dust of the earth previously at 13:16 - which some would say is essentially the same)
  • all nations of the earth would be blessed by his offspring (as He said at 12:3)

God provides a new or fourth promise in verse 17.  He tells Abraham that his offspring would possess the gates of their enemies.  Not only does God reinforce His previous great and wonderful promises and give a new promise of victory, He swears by Himself in emphatic fashion that He will make it so. 

God is faithful and He is all powerful.  What He has promised, He can and will provide.  Abraham appropriately names the mountain where he offered to sacrifice Issac - "The Lord Will Provide". 

6.  How is the story of the proposed sacrifice of Isaac like the actual sacrifice Jesus Christ from your review of the following Scriptures?

  • Genesis 22:8 and John 1:29- Just as God provided the lamb (which was Jesus) to sacrifice, He provides the the lamb for Abraham to sacrifice.
  • Genesis 22:6 and John 19:17 - Just as Jesus carried the means for his sacrifice (His cross), Isaac carried the wood for the fire for his supposed sacrifice.
  • Genesis 22:1-10 and Acts 8:26-34 - Just as Jesus never opened His mouth, we have no indication that Isaac ever opened his mouth or was unwilling to obey his father.
  • Genesis 22:2 and John 3:16 - Just as Jesus was God's only and beloved Son, Isaac, after Ishmael was banished, was then Abraham's only and beloved son.

Abraham appropriately names the mountain where he offered to sacrifice Issac - "The Lord Will Provide".  Just as God provided the Lamb of God in the person of Jesus Christ as a substitute for our sins, God provided the lamb as a substitute for Abraham's son Isaac.  Isaac is in one sense a picture of the sacrificial Savior, and yet, he's also a picture of Christ followers who enjoy the benefit of the gift of life because a substitute sacrifice is provided by the The Lord Who Provides.  

Day Four

7.  Hebrews chapter 11 says in verses one and two that ". . . faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.  For our ancestors won God's approval by it."

What does Hebrews 11:17-19 teach us about Abraham's perspective on being tested by God?

Abraham recognized the promises of God were to be fulfilled through Isaac whom he was ordered to sacrifice.  But Abraham believed that even though God ordered him to sacrifice Isaac, God could (and would) raise him from the dead to fulfill His promises to Abraham. 

Perhaps Abraham remembered the rhetorical question that God had asked him at the Oaks of Mamre - "Is anything impossible for the Lord?" (18:14).

8.  What insight does I Samuel 15:22 teach us about this story of Abraham in Genesis chapter 22?

Then Samuel said:

"Does the LORD l take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD?  Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams." The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), 1 Sa 15:22.

The obedience of Abraham is what the Lord wanted from him - not the sacrifice of Isaac.  After some wavering of his faith in God, seen twice in Abraham's misplaced fear about his safety because of Sarah's beauty (12:11-13; 20:2), and once in his acceptance of Sarah's suggestion of him fathering a child by Hagar (16:1-3), Abraham is now tested by God. 

There's no indication in Scripture that Abraham actually disobeyed God when he wavered previously.  There's also no indication that his waverings were a failure of a testing by God.  However, now Abraham is commanded directly by God and he obeys Him.  In fact, he obeys God without hesitation and without questions.

This was remarkable because Isaac was the promised child, now his only child, through whom it was promised that Abraham's offspring would be blessed.  Indeed, God said He would establish or confirm His covenant with Isaac.  God said it would be an everlasting covenant for Isaac's future offspring (17:20).

Abraham passed the test.  Abraham didn't hesitate (22:3) and He didn't question God as he had previously about His promises (15:2-3, 15:8; 17:18).

Abraham likely obeyed without hesitation and without question because by now his faith was so strong in God's ability to the the seemingly impossible (Hebrews 11:17-19; Genesis 18:14).  He had fathered a son at age 100 and his wife had a child by him at age 90!  As Romans 4:20 reminds us, Abraham was strengthened in his faith in the power and promise of God.

Abraham worshiped God by his obedience far more than his burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Day Five

9.  It is an antithetical aspect of God in the context of this story that God (who is love) commands the father (who loves the son) to sacrifice or kill the beloved son.  That Abraham would consider such a command demonstrates his complete devotion to obey the God he loved even more than his only son.  

It's remarkable how much Abraham trusted God.  He didn't doubt the character of God, he simply trusted Him. 

How can we obey God like Abraham did, especially when we don't understand why we're supposed to obey?  

Your answer here

We pray these Genesis Chapter 22 questions and answers have been a blessing to you.

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