Today in God’s Word
Genesis 22; Matthew 21
The very famous account of Abraham and Isaac is found in our reading today. Hebrews 11:17-19 explains that Abraham was facing a test of his faith and that he recognized that the very promises of God were bound up in this child that he was now being asked to sacrifice. Trusting God (taking him at his word), Abraham concluded that God must have intended to raise Isaac from the dead. So without doubting God’s goodness or wisdom or authority, Abraham proceeded. We know that God stopped him and presented a substitute sacrifice after it was evident that Abraham was acting with the obedience of faith. Here we see that there would come a better Son to be sacrificed by a better Father and through this Son would be fulfilled every promise of God.
In Matthew 21 Jesus is quite set against the false religion of the Pharisees and he comes against those who would dishonor God under pretense of serving him. The theme presented seems to be about recognizing and truly submitting to the rightful authority of God, in Jesus. A big concept for our understanding of the whole storyline of the Bible is presented here. We see a transition where the chosen people of God reject God by rejecting his Son (cf. John 5:23) and now the thrust of the advancement of the Kingdom of God moves to the Gentiles due to the hard hearts of the majority of the Jews (cf. Rom 11:25). Keeping in mind, however, that Gentiles are only saved by being grafted into the covenant people of God as spiritual children of Abraham (cf. Gal 3:7-9; Rom 4:11-13, 11:17-24). Jesus makes it clear that the one who is a child of God is the one who bears fruit…his curse on the bare fig tree in Matt 21:19 contrasted to his statement in Matt 21:43 is clear.
Saving faith…true faith… bears the fruit of obedience as shown by Abraham and referenced here by Jesus. May we seek the Lord with a heart level devotion that receives and treasures his word that we may bear fruit of repentance in our lives and that we might advance his kingdom and even see the redemption of the whole nation of Israel.
Soli Deo Gloria!