In place of Abel, YAHWEH blessed Adam and Eve with another son, whose name was Seth. Seth means appointed. From him, a righteous generation came through the person of Noah. In chapter five of Genesis, we find Adam’s offspring’s genealogy. There are ten generations from Adam to Noah. Noah, the Bible says, found grace in the eyes of the Lord; he was a just and righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:8-9). Noah lived among an evil generation. He was the only righteous man found among all the people that lived at that time. The time had come when YAHWEH had to deal with mankind for the second time through judgment. This time, He decided to destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom He had created from the face of the ground- not only man, but the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air- for it grieved Him and made Him regretful that He had made them (Gen. 6:7). YAHWEH sent a universal flood and destroyed the earth, but spared the righteous Noah and his family, eight in all. His wife and his three sons, and their wives were saved and preserved in the ark for six months until the water receded. This way, YAHWEH preserved the righteous seed to fulfill His promise to man.
Noah’s sons were Ham, Shem, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan (Gen. 9:22). Shem the ancestor of all the children of Eber [including the Hebrews] (Gen. 10: 21), was the ancestor of Terah the father of Abraham. Japheth was the ancestor of Indo-European nations (Gen. 10:2-5). Ten generations passed before YAHWEH sent judgment on the earth. His plan to preserve a righteous seed from which He would send His Son would survive whatever interference Satan tried. YAHWEH was and is faithful to His promises. From the three sons of Noah, YAHWEH chose Shem. When Noah’s family’s left the ark, YAHWEH pronounced a blessing upon them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 9:1). This was a new beginning for everyone. After the flood, the soil was probably fertile and ready to be cultivated. They were not only to be fruitful but also to fill the earth.
Ten generations after Shem, Abraham was born. When he was still living in Haran, YAHWEH called him saying, Abram, Go for yourself away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house to the land that I will show you and I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing. So Abram departed, as the Lord had directed him. He was seventy-five years old when he left Haran (Gen. 12: 1-2,4).
At seventy-five, a man today would not have had the strength to travel over 500 miles by foot at 10- 20 miles a day with all his farm animals and supplies. That was a life not for the coward, but for the faithful and courageous. Abram was a gentile when YAHWEH called him. There was no such nation yet called Israel, or people called Jews. God’s purpose to call Abram out of his land, away from his gods was for the purpose to separate him for a divine purpose – a purpose He had planned long ago when He promised Adam and Eve a Redeemer. It was to bring through his descendants the Holy Seed- His Son.
Abram was called out of his country, family, his religion, and YAHWEH gave him a new name. From Abram to Abraham. He promised to bless him and bless all the families and kindred of the earth through him. YAHWEH promised Abraham to make him a great nation. A special nation from whom He would send His Son. Abraham’s obedience qualified him as righteous before YAHWEH. His faith urged him to answer YAHWEH’S calling in obedience, as we read in Hebrews 11:8-10: [Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. By faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise (Heb. 11:8-9).
It took twenty-seven years from the time YAHWEH called Abraham to the time He fulfilled His promise of a son from whom YAHWEH was going to make a great nation. In the meantime, at the request of his wife, Ismael was born out of Abraham’s relationship with an Egyptian slave. Sarah could not wait for the promised son. She was in a hurry and end up with consequential problems as a result of her decision that has affected many generations to this day. They became a thorn in the flesh of Sarah’s descendants. But YAHWEH never promised the Holy Seed to come from an Egyptian woman but from Sarah. Paul writes to the Galatians concerning this saying, For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid and one by the free woman. But whereas the child of the slave woman was born according to the flesh and had an ordinary birth, the son of the free woman was born in fulfillment of the promise Galatians 4:24-25, Paul gives a representation of the covenant that Sarah and Hagar symbolized. They represented two covenants. One covenant originated from Mount Sinai [where the Law was given] and bears [children destined] for slavery; this is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and she corresponds to and belongs in the same category with the present Jerusalem, for she is in bondage together with her children (Gal. 4:22-25). In her representation, when Sarah told Abraham to rid of the son of the slave and Abraham would not agree, YAHWEH told him to listen to Sarah. Isaac was to be the inheritor of all the promises YAHWEH made to Abraham.
Isaac was an adult when YAHWEH told Abraham to sacrifice him. This was the second call YAHWEH made to Abraham. The first, He told Abraham to leave his country, his family, all that was familiar to him. This time, YAHWEH tells Abraham to give up his promised son. The Bible does not register Isaac’s age at that time, but we assume that he was old enough to refuse the idea. Isaac, however, as the son of the promise, from whose descendants YAHWEH would bring His Son to the world, submitted to the command of his father, as the coming Savior did to His Heavenly Father and laid down His life as a sacrifice on the cross for all who would believe and accept the gift of His life. At mount Moriah, something very significant was happening that day, that neither Abraham nor Isaac knew about. YAHWEH was testing Abraham with his only son to represent YAHWEH’S own and beloved Son whom later He was going to give up to redeem mankind. I believe that Isaac took a big part of this picture. Not only Abraham was tested, but Isaac was too. I believe that it was a lot harder for Isaac since he did not know YAHWEH the way his father did. Both father and son were to fulfill YAHWEH’S command to be found worthy of carrying YAHWEH’S plan. Abraham, when told to go to the region of Moriah to offer his son as a burnt offering, he did not question YAHWEH. The Bible says that he rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and then began the trip to the place of which God was going to tell him (Gen. 22:2-3).
Isaac carried on his shoulders the wood for the burnt offering; Abraham took the fire (the firepot), and a knife; and the two went on together (Gen. 22:6). Accepting the answer from his father Abraham, “YAHWEH Himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering,” to his question, “where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Isaac was volunteering to be himself that lamb, as YAHSHUA did. Whence, when He [Christ] entered into the world He said, Sacrifice and offerings You have not desired, but instead You have made ready a body for Me. Then I said, Behold, here I am coming to do Your will, O God-what is written of Me in the volume of the Book (Heb. 10: 5,7). Abraham, carrying the fire and (the firepot), represented the Father- the life giver and taker in that scenario.
YAHWEH blessed Abraham with multiplied blessings, beyond any human man received, because of his obedience: In blessing, I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (heir) will possess the gate of His enemies. And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice (Gen. 22: 17-18). With that experience, YAHWEH and Abraham signed the contract to be fulfilled many years to come through his descendants.
(To be continued)