As we profess our faith in Christ, we must know that it will be tested, most likely against something near and dear to our hearts. Abraham, the father of our faith, encountered such a dilemma. When he was 99 years old God made a covenant with him (of circumcision). God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (the father of many nations) and with this change came a promise. Abraham’s barren wife Sarai would bear a son through which Abraham’s descendants would come. (Genesis 17). Imagine what Abraham felt when his greatest hope (a son whom nations would arise from) was put to the test. Yahweh told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. This servant obeyed, saddled up his donkey and embarked on a journey to the land of Moriah with his son. What happened next was to the glory of God. On the third day of the journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place afar off. (Genesis 22:4) The Hebrew word for afar off (KJ translation) is Me rachowq (raw khoke) and has 2 meanings.
1) from a distance
2) time (peer into the future)
While the mount was definitely a distance away from the beleaguered father, it is the 2nd meaning that is of great significance. God gave Abraham a vision of the future and of the Almighty’s plan of salvation. We know this by harmonizing all relevant scriptures.Genesis 22:7-8 shows that Isaac wondered where the lamb for the offering was. Abraham answers by saying that God would provide the lamb. Yet in verse 13 a ram was caught in the thicket and was sacrificed as a burnt offering. Was Abraham wrong about the lamb?
” The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29 KJV)
” Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56 KJV).
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” (Hebrews 11:17-19 KJV).
When we put all the events of the sacrifice together, it paints a picture of Jesus’ journey (into Jerusalem on a donkey), crucifixion and resurrection. Abraham looked up on the 3rd day and he had Isaac carry the wood for the offering. Jesus carried his cross and rose on the 3rd day. The father of many nations was given the vision of the death and resurrection of his savior. That is why he was able to know God could raise Isaac. The revelation began with the blood and wine that Melchizedek offered and culminated in this journey to Mount Moriah. Abraham named the place Jehovah Jireh (the Lord provides/in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.) Abraham’s patience and faith were rewarded with a look at the greatest sacrifice in the history of the world. -EJ