HEB xi. 17, 18.
“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
I. THIS incident furnishes us with illustrations of faith
tried. Abraham could not doubt for a moment when God
spake, but the commandment might seem strange, startling,
cruel. It looked inconsistent with the character of God.
Then there was the scandal it must cause to idolaters.
Then there was the snare it would be to many half-won to
the purer worship. Then, above all, there would be the
breaking of the promise made in Isaac. Then it was a
sorrow which had to be borne alone. Then there was the
further trial of his faith in the deliberateness with which the
act was accomplished.
II. We have here faith triumphant. It is tried in the
fire, but it triumphs in the midst of the trial. Every step
in Abraham’s life seems to have been taken under Divine
direction. He continually waited upon God, and so was
ready when his trial came. His sublimity of self-sacrifice
was the result of patient prayerful years. The main prin-
ciple of his self-sacrifice is said to have been his faith.
Faith led him to believe that God would do all things well.
W. Morley Punshon, D.D.