Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – November 8, 2015
Theme: Heroes of Faith
Topic: Abraham – Father of Faith – Part 2
Main Texts: Genesis 22:1-18
Key Verse: Hebrews 11:17 –“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a
sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son”
Last Sunday, we saw how Sarah became a faith hero as she allowed God’s word to prevail over her pessimism about the possibility of having a child at old age. Our key learnings from the study include the following:
While we wait for God’s perfect answer to our request on an issue, we could come under pressure and sometimes we proffer “self-help” solutions. God does not necessarily frown at such interim solutions.
A real danger is the tendency to give up on believing God when we have found some consolation in our self-help solution, thereby making our self-help solution the solution. It could weaken our faith for future situations.
As we wait on God for answers to our burning issues, it is important we feed our faith with the right thoughts, words and actions as evidence of our continued trust in Him. This Sunday, we return to the second episode that made Abraham, The Father of Faith. This is about his obedience when God told him to sacrifice his only son Isaac.
Our key learnings from this study should include the following:
There are instructions or revelations God gives us which He does not expect us to discuss or review with anyone, but to simply obey. We saw this in the way Abraham went about obeying God even without discussing with His wife!
When we act in obedience to God, we should be prepared for negative fall-outs such as depressing criticisms, in event of unpleasant temporary outcomes. The strongest criticisms may come from those closest to us or those we most respect.
One of the hindrances to our obedience to tough instructions from God is that we want to be able to reason out how God could bring about our miracle. Often, he springs surprises: Abraham had faith that God could raise Isaac from the dead after he had been sacrificed, but God sprang a surprise with a ram! Don’t try to figure out how God would do His work! Having waited one hundred years to have the son of his Promise, to now be told to sacrifice that same son must have been mind-boggling and quite a test for Abraham. It certainly does not make sense to any rational mind. We can thus understand why Abraham did not even discuss the vision with Sarah his wife. Needless to say, the son in question whose life was on the line was unaware!We would recall that Paul also had a revelation from God which he said he did not discuss with anyone before obeying – see Galatians 1:15-16.
a) What types of directives or revelations from God may we not discuss with anyone – even our spouse – and why?
b) What personal preparations would we make against the potential negative fall-outs of keeping such revelations to ourselves and acting on them without prior discussion with our spouse or those close to us who may even be affected by our obedience? Abraham took two of his servants, with Isaac, to go and make the sacrifice at Moriah. Getting there after three days, he said to the servants “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” (v5) Abraham seemed confident he would come back with Isaac alive. Hebrews 11:19 confirmed that this was indeed Abraham’s confidence: that he “… reasoned that God could even raise the dead”. To Abraham, the only way God could fulfil His promise of Genesis 17:19 was for Him (God) to bring Isaac back to life after the sacrifice. But as we later saw, God had a different idea – He provided a ram for the sacrifice, in place of Isaac.
c) Share personal examples of how God intervened in a situation in a way that was completely different from what we had figured out He would do.
It is indeed significant that God had a different idea of how He would reconcile the fulfilment of His promise to Abraham concerning Isaac, and His command to him for the boy to be sacrificed. There is something in man – even men and women of faith – that tries to figure out the manner of God’s intervention in a dire situation. When we cannot figure out how God could do it, we tend to take the most rational ways out.
d) What do we typically do when we are unable to reason out How God could resolve a dire situation that requires our “blind” obedience? Personal reflection: Write down the things you most prize in your life – people, possessions, position, etc.
We are inclined, and rightly so, to pray for the protection of all these assets. But how would you react if God
demands that you give them up – or He takes them away from you?
Father, I want to trust you for every situation, no matter how dire, even when my limited mind cannot figure
out how you would intervene. Help me do this, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.