The Life of Isaac (Part Three: God Will Provide)
The Life of Isaac (Part Three: God Will Provide)
Welcome to a behind-the-scenes look at the research and artwork that goes into making each scene of iBIBLE. Today, we look at Abraham's faithfulness and God's miraculous provision.
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So, they went both of them together. –Gen. 22:6 [ESV]
In our iBIBLE “Behind the Scenes” series over the last two weeks, we have explored the life of Abraham’s promised son: Isaac. First, we delved into his miraculous birth story, then we discussed how Abraham took his son on a journey to carry out God’s command to sacrifice him. Now, this week, in the third part of the life of Isaac, we look at Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, and God’s ultimate provision.
God had referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only son, whom you love.” He knew how hard this command to sacrifice his son would be to carry out. Now the time had come. As Abraham and Isaac arrived at the mountains of Moriah, Abraham instructed the men who were traveling with them to remain behind, and asked Isaac to carry the firewood for the burnt offering. Isaac and Abraham began climbing the mountain together.
While trekking up the hill, Isaac (estimated to be around 10–12 years old) asked his father, “Behold, the fire and the wood…but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Gen. 22:7b) Abraham answered his son, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Gen. 22:8a)
Abraham prepares the firewood for the sacrifice
When they arrived at the place where God had told them to go, Abraham built the altar, placed the wood, and bound his son Isaac. Then he lifted Isaac onto the altar on top of the wood, and raised the knife to kill his son.
Up to this point, Scripture does not give any indication that Isaac knew what was going on. In fact, Isaac had questioned his father about where the lamb was for the sacrifice. But now he knows. He is the one to be sacrificed! One can only imagine what went through his mind, and what he might have said. Did he trust his father completely, or would he have struggled and screamed out, asking why his father would do this to him?
The Scripture does not reveal how Isaac reacted. It only tells us that Abraham, without questioning, chose to obey God even if it meant sacrificing his son, his only son (of promise), whom he loved.
Abraham binds up Isaac
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. —Gen. 22:9–10
Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac
At the very last moment, God intervenes:
But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” –Gen. 22:11–12
God stops Abraham
Abraham hugs Isaac, and is relieved to get his son back
In last week’s iBIBLE “Behind the Scenes,” we revealed the reason that Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac. The explanation that Scripture itself gives is that it was a test of his obedience and fear of God. Isaac was never actually going to be sacrificed. The author of Hebrews tells us that Abraham was so solid in his faith when he was tested, that he believed that God would raise his son from the dead if he had completed the sacrifice (see Heb. 11:17–19).
Yet, God lifted up Abraham’s eyes and he saw a ram caught in the thicket. He then took the ram, instead of his son, and sacrificed it to God. God had miraculously provided!
And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide;” as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” –Gen. 22:13–14
God provides a ram in the thicket
As the Divine narrative unfolds, we find another instance where God provides a miraculous sacrifice—another story of a son ascending a mountain to be killed. This time, it was God’s only son whom He loved who would die. God’s son, Jesus, also carried the wood (the cross) to His own sacrifice on the hill called Golgotha. Only out of love, God did not stop Pontius Pilot from ordering the execution. This, however, was not an execution as Pilot thought; it was indeed a sacrifice! God was willing to give up His only Son for us, and Jesus was willing to be sacrificed in order to save all who believe in Him.
The Biblical narrative continually points to Jesus. It is an honor and a blessing to be able to now produce a visual representation of all that the Holy Scriptures reveal. We use over 90% quotes from Scripture in the scripts for iBIBLE, leaving the story as pure as possible as revealed in the Bible. The Biblical narrative is rich, revealing God’s astonishing dealings with mankind, and plan to restore His perfect creation.
Thank you for taking this incredible journey with us!
Thank you for your prayers and support in bringing every event in Scripture to life through iBIBLE!