And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 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, And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Genesis 22:15-18

This reading contains the revelation that the man who would save mankind, would be born of the family of Abraham; He would be a man who would bless all families of the earth regardless of ethnicity. Hope for all mankind!

Many years before, Abraham learned that his family would be designated for special favour. Believing the promise he subsequently journeyed from his homeland in Ur of the Chaldees, to Canaan, the territory given to the nation that would spring from his children.

Abraham had an enormous problem though, that seemed to mitigate his ambitions into the dustbin of wishful thinking. He was an elderly man married to an elderly wife and they had no children! Nevertheless he believed in the God who accomplishes the impossible and in due course Sarah, his wife, gave birth to a son whom they called Isaac.

When Isaac was a teenager God directed Abraham to Mount Moriah, instructing him to offer Isaac upon an altar. Abraham had learned never to question God. And so the father and son climbed the slopes, with Abraham surrendering to the will of God yet believing that there would be a sacrifice provided and if Isaac died God would raise him up again.

At the very last moment when the old man’s knife was in the air, a stray ram was heard bleating, caught in a bush. The sacrifice was provided, Isaac was spared, Abraham’s faith and consecration were rewarded.

At this point the promise of the coming Messiah was repeated to Abraham:

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed

The place could not have been more significant. Mount Moriah is the same piece of land where Jerusalem is situated today. Solomon in a later period would erect his magnificent temple here, just a little distance from Golgotha, otherwise called Calvary. In the same place where Isaac was strapped to an altar, where an old man was willing to offer up his only son, God would present His only Son upon a cross of wood, as the Saviour of the world.

Today, as we reflect upon Jesus who came, let us praise God that He died for a world of lost sinners. Let us affirm and reaffirm our faith in Him who lived and died for us.

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