Abraham’s Offspring: A Place for the Seed

“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”                                                                           

  — Genesis 22:7-18

         God required Abraham to lose Isaac in his heart, but the only person who truly died on Mount Moriah was the Lamb of God.  God accepts the motive of the heart, but Jesus is the one who actually does the dying.  So our heart’s motives must come into conformity with the Father’s heart.  This happened to Abraham when he offered his son, his only son, whom he loved.  In Abraham’s heart-motive, Isaac was planted as a seed that, as it were, fell into the ground and died.  But the Lamb is actually the one who shed his blood.  In that sense, neither I nor any other believer falls into the ground and dies – ever.  It is always and only the Lamb whose death will make any difference at all.  When a believer’s heart comes into conformity with the Father’s heart, that person gives the Lamb an opportunity to die as a seed that will  bring forth a blessing to the nations and an increase of Christ in the earth.  The Lord brings the hearts of His people into conformity so that the One who already died has an avenue into the earth to manifest that Spirit that delights in laying down its life.

         Again, there is a sharp distinction between the Lamb and the one who offers Him.  Isaac never became the Lamb in that his death could never somehow mystically become acceptable.  Only the Lamb’s death is delightful to the Father.  The Father takes no pleasure in a person sacrificing what is dear to him or her.  God is goodness Himself.  Why in the name of sanity, reason, and justice would He find joy in depriving us of the things that are dear to us?  There is no pleasure to be found in that for Him.  It is His Son’s death that He delights in, not because He wants His Son to die but because of the Spirit in which the Son lays down His life and the increase of the Son that His death brings about.

         When Isaac was offered and then raised up, Abraham lifted up his eyes and beheld the Lamb.  He saw more than getting Isaac back.  He saw the Spiritual reality behind what had just transpired.  He saw that Someone else died, and he offered that death to the Lord.  He saw that the Lord provided the right offering and the right death.  Abraham did not really have the right offering (And neither do you; whatever it is you are supposed to give up, that is not an offering.  The Lamb is the offering.), for not even Isaac was really what the Father desired.  Only the death of the Lamb was acceptable, and the Lord provided it.  This puts the name Jehovah-jireh in a whole new light.  He provides the Lamb.  A believer may have to offer the thing to which his affections are tied, but the death that is acceptable in that situation, the Lord will always provide for him.  That death will always be the Lamb.  Abraham beheld this: Christ revealed at this altar as the God Who provides Himself.

         The increase of the seed is found in the offering of the seed.  Abraham offered the Lamb, and so there would be an increase of the Lamb.  In this sense, the Lamb is the seed of Abraham because the provided Lamb is the seed he planted.  Now, Isaac and the seed were bound up together.  Isaac had been planted by the motive of Abraham’s heart, but the Lamb was the offering that the Lord desired.  If only Isaac had been offered and not the Lamb – if only Isaac had died, it would have been a Christless cross.  There would have been no meaning in that.  Only in offering the Lamb will there be increase both for the seed and for Isaac.

         The seed of Abraham was Christ.  Isaac was only a figure.  The Lamb is what he planted, and he is what increased.  Because Abraham offered Isaac, the Lord would use him to be a vehicle of the seed.  From that point forward, Abraham’s and Isaac’s descendants became the habitation of God.  They were His dwelling place, His home.  They were the location in which He could be expressed in the earth.  Abraham’s motives to plant his Son Isaac gave the Lord the a place – something He has not had in the earth before now.

         But never was Isaac the seed.  In John 8:33-44, the Pharisees claim that they are Abraham’s seed, identifying themselves as the descendants of Isaac.  But Jesus tells them that the quality of what they are proves they are not the seed.  Why?  Because Christ is the seed!  The Pharisees had identified with the type and overlooked the substance and heart of the issue, from which the type had sprung.  In so doing, they had ceased to be the Lord’s habitation and left no room for Him, no place for Him in the earth.