Anglican Morning Devotion, 1 June 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Genesis 17:19-21; )
Until the calling of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, God’s plan of redemption had been given sparingly to the ancients of man beginning at Adam’s fall at Eden. There were two profound references that revealed a coming Redeemer, but it was not fully comprehended at that stage of man’s spiritual understanding. Those two references were both uttered in Genesis Three. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) and “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21) In the first reference (probably not comprehended fully by Adam) God is telling us that though Satan will sting as a serpent and persecute the coming Son of God, yet, the Seed of the Woman (Jesus Christ) will crush the head of the serpent. Christ was the Seed of no man – only of Mary in the flesh. The second reference was a veiled prophecy of the future sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in covering our nakedness (sins) on the cross. An innocent animal had to be sacrificed by God to acquire the skins to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.
God promised Abraham to become the father of many nations. That is the interpretation of his name, Abraham, in Hebrew. But Abraham and Sarah grew old and their prospects of having a son grew remote (in their eyes). They tried to help God out by having Abraham impregnate Sarah’s servant girl, Hagar. This violated the plan of God. He had promised a son to Abraham and Sarah in the bonds of marriage, but the son of Hagar, Ishmael, was not born according to the promise of God. Therefore, Abraham’s second son, Isaac, was viewed by God as Abraham’s only son and the child of promise. “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Genesis 17:21) There is a significant trend in Scripture of the second son becoming the called and gifted of God. Adam was the first man by whom death and suffering fell upon all his progeny. But Jesus Christ is referred to as the second man by whom eternal life came to those chosen of God.
The first son of Adam, Cain, was cursed. The second son, Abel, was God’s prophet. The first son of Abraham, Ishmael, was not the chosen one for the promise; it therefore fell to Abraham’s second son, Isaac. In turn, Isaac had two sons – Esau and Jacob. Esau was the elder son, but the blessing came to the second son, Jacob.
Isaac is a near perfect type of Christ. He came as a result of God’s promise to Abraham. He came by miraculous birth since Sarah was over ninety years old when he was born. Isaac was considered the only begotten son of Abraham. God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his one and only son on the mountain of Moriah (the same upon which the Temple was built). Abraham had tremendous faith. He undertook to obey God without hesitation. After a three day’s journey, Abraham and Isaac came to the foot of the mountain. Isaac asked a question of his father that must have broken Abraham’s heart: “…Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7) And how did Abraham answer his son? “…My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:8) If you have a new (per)version of the Bible, you will miss the power of that statement. Abraham is not saying God will provide just SOME lamb, but rather, God will provide HIMSELF as a Lamb for the offering! And in the fulness of time, the Lamb of God died as our Redeemer.
Isaac now carried the wood for the fire up mount Moriah (the same on which Christ was crucified) just as our Lord Jesus Christ carried His own cross. God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, Isaac. So what point was God making? He was demonstrating to Abraham, and to us, the pain and terrible hurt of a father sacrificing his only son. But Isaac did not qualify as a sinless sacrifice. God would not require it of man – instead, God would sacrifice His own only Begotten Son for us. Can you see now how Isaac was a near-perfect type of the Lord Jesus Christ? The seed of Abraham came down through Isaac, and it was a spiritual seed. (Gen 17:19) It is not the fleshly bloodline of Abraham that is the chosen of God, but the spiritual. “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7)