How to Study the Bible

How to Study the Bible

Nicole Unice

Isaac: Saved by Grace (Genesis 22:11-14)

September 26, 2022   ●   18 min

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Why does it matter that we study these Old Testament stories? When we’re able to zoom way out and see what God has been stepping in to help the generations before us, we’re able to place our own sufferings and struggles in context. The God of our Fathers is our God, too. The covenants God has made with our forefathers are for us, too.


11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” - Genesis 22:11-14

God appeared to Abraham and told him to sacrifice Isaac. We have to remember; this is a different time and day. Abraham trusts God and obeys. As he moves toward the action of sacrifice, God intervenes. God calls out personally to Abraham, and he provides an alternative. He doesn’t just cancel the plan, he provides a substitute sacrifice.


If you’ve been reading Genesis, you know a few weeks ago that God made a covenant with Abraham through his descendants, promising him that he will in fact have children. Sarah does in fact get pregnant even though she’s ninety years old.

Then the bizarre happens: God tells Abraham to sacrifice this son, who is the fulfillment of the covenant. What is going on here?

This is another chapter in a long life with a faithful God. Many commentators believe that Abraham might have thought even if he killed Isaac, God could bring him back to life.

God tests us to show us what’s already there. He tests us to show us the strength of our faith that is already present. When we go through testing, we’re getting more and more anchored in our identity in God, who he is. Something eternal is growing and developing in us.


The Lord Will Provide--beginning of a pattern of substitutionary atonement. God is faithful to his promises. We are seeing the start of God’s people, the Israelites.

Romans 3:24-25:
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

Redemption means something is bought back, recovered, or handled. God redeems us through Christ. Abraham was required to take his beloved, one and only son to sacrificed, but God stayed his hand, and provided a sacrifice instead.

But when God sent his one and only son to the mountain to be sacrificed, he did not stay his hand. He allowed Christ to be sacrificed for our sins, once and for all.


1. Even when all hope seems lost, God will still provide.

2. Sometimes going backward in our story can give us the strength to face what’s ahead

3. Our faith in Christ’s substitution is built on generations upon generations of God showing his faithfulness to us as his people.


Check out Nicole’s book Help! My Bible Is Alive: 30 Days of Learning to Love and Understand God’s Word -


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