The Lord Will Provide

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, ‘Father?’ ‘Yes, my son?’ Abraham replied. ‘The fire and wood are here,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.”—Genesis 22:6–8 (NIV)
 
This is one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible. It literally gives me goosebumps when I read it. It’s a beautiful picture and a powerful promise all wrapped into one!
 
Many scholars and commentators have pondered regarding the silence of Isaac throughout the entire trek. Aside from asking his father where the lamb was for the burnt offering, Isaac offered no resistance that is recorded, nor did he question, protest, cry, or demonstrate any distress. While often the depiction seen in cartoons and movies is of Isaac as a small child, fearful of his father and ignorant of what was taking place, author Witness Lee points out, “Scholars believe that when Isaac was offered he was at least 20 years old.” 
 
What makes them think that? Well, verse six tells us that Isaac carried the wood for the burnt offering. You need a lot of wood for this type of sacrifice, and it isn’t exactly light. I have a seven-year-old, and he can barely carry the weight of his backpack when all his books and lunchbox are in there; there’s no way he could have carried enough wood for a sacrifice. But the Scripture indicates that Isaac was strong and large enough to carry all the wood for the offering, thus making it clear that he was not a child. This puts Isaac’s question to Abraham concerning the whereabouts of the lamb in a completely different light for me . . .
 
Author Louis Berman explains, “The father’s answer is tender but evasive, and the boy must have sensed the truth by now.” As Isaac asks Abraham where the lamb was, Abraham responded that God would provide for Himself the lamb. Author Victoria Naugle points out, “See, God told Abraham years before that Isaac would be a seed to many nations. Abraham completely trusted God’s promise, so he knew God would provide another sacrifice and not make him kill his own son . . . Abraham knew they’d both return.” Seriously, what a statement, a powerful promise that God would provide the Lamb for the sacrifice so we wouldn’t have to experience death, and a beautiful picture of the substitutionary death of Jesus on the altar of eternity.
 
Today, we can rest in the fulfillment of Abraham’s words: God has already provided the Lamb! Jesus died in our place, and now we get to return down the mountain of sacrifice completely unharmed and go home with our Father. 
 
DIG: What must it have been like to be Abraham and Isaac on this trek up the mountain?
 
DISCOVER: How does Isaac being a fully-grown adult change the dynamic of this story for you? 
 
DO: Praise the Lord today for providing the Lamb for the sacrifice! 
 
 

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.