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Daily Devotional Genesis 22:1–24

At the end of a semester, teachers often give final exams, which demonstrate what the student learned through the course. In Genesis 22, Abraham experienced the most difficult test of his life (v. 1). The timing of this test is important as it comes near the end of Abraham’s story.

Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead.


God had promised that through Isaac, Abraham’s descendants would become a great nation (Gen. 17:19). After years of waiting, Isaac had finally been born (Gen. 21:1–2). Now, just when things seemed to come together for Abraham, God administered a test. This is the only time in Scripture where God is said to test an individual. He commanded Abraham to offer Isaac up as a burnt offering (v. 2). To us, this command is startling and disturbing. What should Abraham do when God’s command seemed to conflict with His promise?

Abraham immediately obeyed (v. 3). This passage beautifully and memorably highlights two important truths. First, it taught Israel the meaning of sacrifice. When God provided a ram in place of Isaac, Israel would understand the concept of substitutionary atonement (v. 13) and the significance of the sacrificial system.

It also pointed forward to Christ’s substitutionary atonement (John 3:16). “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Rom. 8:31– 32). We also learn the importance of faith. Abraham believed in God’s promise and trusted in His word. His statements, “we will worship and then we will come back” (v. 5) and “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering” (v. 7), are expressions of faith. God promised, and Abraham knew that somehow he would be able to obey the command and Isaac would survive. God provided a way.

Go Deeper

How does Abraham react to this impossible command from God? How does Isaac react? How does this event foreshadow God’s sacrifice of His Son, Jesus?

Pray with Us

Father, thank You for Your love and mercy! Thank You for your salvation in Christ! In You we have joy, peace, and eternal security; no loss on earth is equal to what we gain in relationship with You.

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