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First Sunday In Lent
Series B

 Option One: "When God Doesn't Make Sense"
Genesis 22:1-18
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.

1) You walk with Him anyway--text, vv1-4; Heb 11:8-9

2) You trust His promises--v5; also 6-8; Heb 11:10; 17-19

3) You rejoice in their fulfillment--text, vv9-14; John 1:29; Gal 3:16; 1 Pet 1:18-21; Rev 5:12

Adam Clarke writes concerning Abraham’s great faith in God’s promises: Genesis 22:5

I and the lad will go and come again--How could Abraham consistently with truth say this when he knew he was going to make his son a burnt-offering? The apostle answers for him: By faith, Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac--accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from whence also he received him figuratively, Hebrews 11:17, 19. He knew that previous to the birth of Isaac both he and his wife were dead to all the purposes of procreation; that his birth was a kind of life from the dead; that the promise of God was most positive: In Isaac shall thy seed be called, Genesis 21:12; that this promise could not fail; that it was his duty to obey the command of his Maker; and that it was as easy for God to restore him to life after he had been a burnt-offering as it was for him to give him life in the beginning. Therefore he went fully purposed to offer his son, and yet confidently expecting to have him restored to life again. We will go yonder and worship--perform a solemn act of devotion which God requires, and come again to you.

Genesis 22:12: Lay not thine hand upon the lad--As Isaac was to be the representative of Jesus Christ’s real sacrifice, it was sufficient for this purpose that in his own will, and the will of his father, the purpose of the immolation was complete. Isaac was now fully offered both by his father and by himself. The father yields up the son, the son gives up his life; on both sides, as far as will and purpose could go, the sacrifice was complete. God simply spares the father the torture of putting the knife to his son’s throat. Now was the time when it might properly be said, "Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offering and sacrifice for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure in them: then said the Angel of the Covenant, Lo! I come to do thy will, O God." Lay not thy hand upon the lad; an irrational creature will serve for the purpose of a representative sacrifice, from this till the fullness of time. ...The whole sacrificial system of the Mosaic economy had a retrospective and prospective view, referring FROM the sacrifice of Isaac TO the sacrifice of Christ; in the first, the dawning of the Sun of Righteousness was seen; in the latter, his meridian splendor and glory. Taken in this light (and this is the only light in which it should be viewed) Abraham offering his son Isaac is most important.


Genesis 22:11-13: In this eventful moment, when Isaac lay bound like a lamb upon the altar, about to receive the fatal stroke, the angel of the Lord called down from heaven to Abraham to stop and do his son no harm. For the Lord now knew that Abraham was God-fearing, and that his obedience of faith did extend even to the sacrifice of his own beloved son. The sacrifice was already accomplished in his heart and he had fully satisfied the requirements of God. He was not to slay his son: therefore God prevented the outward fulfilment of the sacrifice by an immediate interposition, and showed him a ram, which he saw, probably being led to look round through a rustling behind him, with its horns fast in a thicket; behind, in the background; and as an offering provided by God Himself, he sacrificed it instead of his son.

Albert Barnes: The voice from heaven was heard from behind Abraham, who, on turning back and lifting up his eyes, saw the ram. This Abraham took and offered as a substitute for Isaac. Both in the intention and in the act he rises to a higher resemblance to God. He withholds not his only son in intent, and yet in fact he offers a substitute for his son. "Jehovah-jireh," the Lord will provide, is a deeply significant name. He who provided the ram caught in the thicket will provide the really atoning victim of which the ram was the type. In this event we can imagine Abraham seeing the day of that pre-eminent seed who should in the fullness of time actually take away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

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Children’s Message on Genesis 22:1-18

Visual aid: needle and finger prick

I don’t know if you’ve ever been a patient in a hospital. If you have, then you know that someone comes and draws some blood out of your arm. They want to take some tests to see what is making you sick.

I have read a story of a boy in grade school who wasn’t sick but they wanted to test his blood anyway. There was a very bad sickness going around and they needed a certain kind of blood. If they had the right kind of blood, they could make a vaccine and the people who were sick would get well. They tested this boy’s blood and they found out that his blood was the kind they were looking for. They called his mom and dad and asked them to bring the boy in so they could draw some blood.

His father explained to him that they needed more blood. The boy thought about it and finally said "Okay." Then they drove to the hospital. As they were on the way the boy asked his father what it was like to die. The more they talked, the more the Father realized that his son thought they wanted all of his blood and that he was going to die. He agreed to go to the hospital even though he thought it would kill him.

In the Bible story for today, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. It didn’t make any sense to them either, but they obeyed God. Abraham was about to kill his son when God’s angel stopped them. Abraham sacrificed a sheep in place of his son. A long time after that God sent His Son to this world. He came, even though He knew they would hurt Him and finally kill Him. He came to be killed in our place. He took our sins away so that we could go to heaven. We don’t have to give up our blood because of sin; Jesus did that for us.

During the next six weeks we will be singing songs about Jesus paying for our sins. We will hear about how much He loves us. We will hear messages about how He shed his blood for our sins. There is nothing more important that you could ever learn than this: that God loved you so much that he sent his Son to die for your sins and for everybody’s sins.

He sure must love us a lot!

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Option #2: "Leading Us In Temptation"
Mark 1:12-15
Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.
A. The farce (Satan) is with us
    1. Tempting us to trust in things, power and reputation
    2. Winning some battles but losing The War

B. The Force (God) is with us

    1. Empowering us, via Baptism, His Spirit, and angels, to overcome temptation

    2. Losing some battles but winning The War


1. ekballo {ek-bal'-lo}, v12: to cast out, drive out, to send out; with notion of violence; to cast out of the world, i.e., be deprived of the power and influence exercised in the world; a thing: excrement from the belly into the sink; to expel a person from a society: to banish from a family; to compel one to depart; to bid one depart, in stern though not violent language; so employed that the rapid motion of the one going is transferred to the one sending forth; to command or cause one to depart in haste; to draw out with force, tear out; with implication of force overcoming opposite force; to cause a thing to move straight on its intended goal; to reject with contempt, to cast off or away; without the notion of violence; to draw out, extract, one thing inserted in another; to bring out of, to draw or bring forth; to except, to leave out, i.e., not receive; to lead one forth or away somewhere with a force which he cannot resist. (Strong's)

2. Mark uses this same verb (ekballo) eleven times to describe the expulsion of demons and to describe Jesus' action in driving the money changers out of the temple grounds (9:15). It is also used to describe the expulsion of the heir from the vineyard (12:8) in the parable of the wicked tenants. (Glen Thomas)

3. eremos {er'-ay-mos}, v12: solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; used of places: a desert, wilderness, deserted places, lonely regions; an uncultivated region fit for pasturage; used of persons: deserted by others; deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred; bereft: of a flock deserted by the shepherd; of a woman neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself. (Strong's)

4. peirazo {pi-rad'-zo}, v13: to try whether a thing can be done; to attempt, endeavour; to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining one's quantity, or what one thinks, or how one will behave in a good sense; in a bad sense, to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments, to try or test one's faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin; to solicit to sin, to tempt; of the temptations of the devil; after the OT usage, of God: to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith; people are said to tempt God by exhibitions of distrust, as though they wished to try whether he is not justly distrusted; by impious or wicked conduct to test God's justice and patience, and to challenge him, as it were to give proof of his perfections. (Strong's)

5. This is what baptism is: God places a song in your heart. Your godparents’ role is to learn that song so well that they can sing it back to you when you forget how it goes. And this is the song: heaven is open to you; God’s spirit is in you; you are everything to God. This is the song that makes your heart sing. And what does the song mean? I’ll tell you. You are the song in God’s heart, and God will never forget that song. (David Wells)

6. The devil's lies/temptations: 1) without bread you're dead; 2) without clout you're out; and 3) without fame you're lame.

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:33 PM