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On a Hill Far Away! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2024 6:00 am

On a Hill Far Away! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 18, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip wraps up his message “On a Hill Far Away!” and encourages you to turn to God in worship even in the toughest trials.


Let me encourage you to turn your worst times into your worship times. It's dark, it's bad, it's horrible. Pause.

Look up, knowing God to be faithful and just and righteous and fully in love with you and worship Him from that place of pain. But first, here's a timely new resource from Skip with biblical insight on the current war in Israel. Israel at War.

That's the title of a new book by Skip Heintzing. Modern Israel has been at war from its very first day of existence. As Skip points out, Israel at War is up to date concerning current events in the Mideast and includes Skip's comments during his December tour of the Gaza border and a video link to Skip's interview in Jerusalem. The new book, Israel at War, is our gift to you this month to anyone who encourages the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more. Make your financial vote of support at or by calling 1-800-922-4200. Israel at War will give you Skip's insight from over 40 trips to Israel and decades of Bible study. And as the world is going to be a better state living in peace, most Palestinians and other Arab nations, not all but many of them, deny the right of Israel to exist. Receive Israel at War by Skip Heintzing with your gift.

Go to or call 1-800-922-1888. Okay, let's get started. We're in Genesis 22 as Skip begins today's teaching. It's been said that we all have an Isaac.

We have some thing or someone where our security may lie. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but it could be that God will test you in that very area of your life and you'll be forced or faced with a decision. What will I do with this one that I love? Let me tell you a little story about my dating. My wife Lenny, when we were dating, let me just say that this wonderful, stable woman was dating a very flaky, unstable surfer from Huntington Beach who didn't know what he wanted and was hard to make a commitment past 10 minutes. So I asked her to marry me, and then after we were engaged, I started backpedaling, saying, I don't know if I can go through this.

That'd be very, very, very tough for a young lady to deal with. And I remember she was at my house and she was struggling with my wavering personality. And it's as if she laid Isaac on the altar. She said this to me. She said, Skip, I love you so much that if I'm not God's best for you, if I'm not God's highest for you, I won't marry you. I don't want to marry you.

I never heard anything like that before. I guess I expected somebody to go, I love you so much, I can't live without you. No, she said, I love you so much, if I'm not God's highest for you, I won't marry you. It's as if she took the Isaac and laid it on the altar. Jesus said, whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.

Whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. This was a great, great test. J.C. Ryle said, a religion which costs nothing is worth nothing. This was a huge cost for Abraham. So there was preparation and there was a test, an examination.

Third phase is submission. Verse three, after God tells him that, it says, so Abraham rose early in the morning. Notice how nonchalantly the verse begins. So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son. And he split the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey.

The lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back to you. So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took the fire in his hand and a knife.

And the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham, his father, and said, my father. And he said, here I am, my son. And he said, look, the fire in the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, my son, God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering.

So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order. And he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

Stop. We pause right at the pinnacle of the story when the knife blade is gleaming in the sun and the father is ready to plunge the knife into his son's chest. That's the third phase, submission. Abraham's response to God's command in these verses that we just read seems to be prompt, immediate, without question. You'll notice in what we just read that nothing is said about Abraham's emotional reaction. He says, so? He did it. And here's why I believe. You don't need to really say anything about Abraham's emotional reaction.

It's unnecessary. He was grieved. Any father would be grieved. He probably got no sleep at all the night before. He tossed and turned. He was restless. Any parent who's going to have a child go through surgery the next morning gets no sleep. They're worried about what the possible outcome could be. I'm sure his mind was racing the night before that day on the walk up as he bound his son. His mind was racing with thoughts like, what about all those promises God gave me about this boy? What about that thing about the stars and my descendants will be more in number than the stars of the heaven?

And more than that. What am I going to tell Sarah when I get home? What am I going to tell her about the God we trusted in and the son that is no longer alive? But maybe we're moving too quickly. Go to verse five and notice something. It said, Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey. The lad and I will go yonder and worship and what does it say now? We, we will come back to you. Not we're going up yonder and I'll be back. No, the former governor of California used to say that I'll be back. Abraham said we'll be back. We plural. That's a statement of faith.

We will be back. Why does he say that? How could he say that?

Here's how I figure it. Sometime the night before, probably, as he's wrestling with all these thoughts in his mind, he solved the problem. He wrestled with it in his mind and made a very reasoned calculation based on God. You see, for God to give this commandment, there's only one of two conclusions that one can draw. Conclusion number one, God is fickle and cannot be trusted.

I mean, why would God promise, provide a miracle, have this baby born, make all those promises and then say, kill him? So either God is fickle and cannot be trusted, but Abraham did not have that experience with God up to this point. Or conclusion number two, God is faithful and can be trusted. He's either fickle and can't be trusted or he's faithful and can be trusted. And that's the God Abraham knew God to be.

Faithful, I can trust him. In fact, let me read again to you Hebrews 11. Listen carefully. By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, in Isaac your seed shall be called, concluding, concluding that God was able to raise him up even from the dead. That word concluding, I emphasize it for a reason. The word concluding is the word logizimai, or logical thought.

It means to compute or to calculate or to reason, logically think through. So here's Abraham marching Isaac up the hill, binding him up, taking the knife about ready to plunge it. And he's thinking these thoughts. God promised me that I would have a son. It was impossible.

I'm 100, she's 90. But here he is. It actually happened. So God is faithful. But now that same God is telling me to kill that same son. Either God is fickle or God is faithful.

I'm opting for number two. I think God is faithful, which means when I plunge a knife into him, it's because God is planning a resurrection. He's going to give another miracle. He's going to raise my son from the dead because that's the son God promised would be the heir.

So here's my application to us. What do you do when life seems so illogical? Well, when life seems so illogical, get theological. Start reasoning based upon God's character.

Let your calculation, your logical thought be upon who you know God to be. There was a man who owned a store, a grocery store. It was an old fashioned grocery store where you had the store on level one.

But there was a cellar underneath the basement where all the backstock was. So there was an open trap door from level one down the ladder to level two. One day the dad is down in the cellar getting stocked for the store. His son is up in the store. The trap door is open to the cellar. A ladder goes down.

But from up on top where all the light is, it looks pitch black down there. Well, the dad's down there getting some stuff. He looks up and sees his son's face, who's kind of over the hole like this, looking down into the dark. The dad sees the son and says, son, jump.

I'll catch you. The boy goes, I can't jump. I can't see. The father says, but I can see you just fine.

And you know me and you know that I love you. So jump. The boy did. You know why? Because he calculated based upon what he knew his father to be like.

Not based upon the fact that it's dark. He never would have jumped. He made his logical calculation based on a promise of a man he knew to be faithful.

And so he jumped. There's another key I don't want you to miss in verse five. Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey. The lad and I will go yonder and worship. Don't leave out that word. We're going to go yonder and we're going to worship.

To Abraham, this sacrifice became an act of worship. Let me encourage you to turn your worst times into your worship times. It's dark. It's bad.

It's horrible. Pause. Look up. Knowing God to be faithful and just and righteous and fully in love with you. And worship him from that place of pain. Turn your worst times into your worst times. Become preoccupied with God. Learn to gaze at God and only glance at your trial.

Because if you reverse that. If you gaze at your trial and only glance at your God, you're going to sink. That was Peter's problem, right? He started getting out of the boat and started walking on the water because Jesus said he could do it. So he starts walking on the water until he starts gazing at the water and realizing this is impossible. Dudes don't walk on water. And he started sinking.

If you would have only gazed at Jesus and glanced at the problem, he would have made it. Learn that. An act of worship. So preparation, examination, submission. And the fourth phase is anticipation. This is where it becomes clear. Look at verse 11.

Knife is in midair, ready to go down. But thank you for that word. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham.

And he said, Here I am. And he said, Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear reverence, honor, respect.

That's what the word means. That you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son from me. Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns.

So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place the Lord will provide. Hey, I'm going to rename this place. What are you going to call it?

Yahweh Yireh in Hebrew. The Lord will provide. But notice this, as it is said to this day in the mountain of the Lord, it shall be. That's future tense. That's pointing ahead. That's an anticipation. That's an expectation of something else. In the mount of the Lord, it shall be provided. In other words, this past event of Abraham and Isaac became a future anticipation and expectation. A preview of something else. A preview of coming attractions.

In the mount of the Lord, it shall be seen. Have you ever been to an optometrist's office when they put that big machine on you to get your vision? And they test you and they go, okay, so is this clear? Click. Or is this clear? Click. And you tell them, okay now, is this clear or click?

Is this clear? I don't know. I can't tell the difference.

Go back. Okay, that's clear. Good. Now when they're done with that, then they put all of those optics together. They snap it into place and wow, that's perfect. That's what this set of verses does. It's like now the whole sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham becomes crystal clear. It means something else. It points to the future direction. If we just consider this to be a trial of Abraham, we're missing the larger point. It's more than a painful experience. Chapter 22 is a prophetic experience. It is a picture, a preview of something else. In just reading the story, we can't help but notice the striking similarity between Isaac and Jesus.

Let me throw out a few. Isaac was a miracle baby. God provided a miracle to let a 90-year-old womb give birth to that boy.

So was Jesus. He was born of a virgin, miracle birth. Isaac was promised long before he was born, years before he was born. Jesus was promised years before he was born. Isaac was named before he was born. Jesus was named.

You will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Notice something else in the text. Verse 2, take now your son, your only son. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Wait a minute. This isn't his only son. He has two sons. First son is Ishmael. God says take your only son. Hebrews calls him your only begotten son. You see, this was the only son of promise, not the son of the flesh. So God only recognizes Isaac as the only son. Notice something else.

Take now your son, your only son, whom you love. Now, all Bible scholars will tell Bible students, whenever a word first appears in Scripture, it's noteworthy. It's significant. It sort of sets the tone for future interpretations. The very first occurrence of the word love in all of Scripture appears in that verse. What's interesting is to note what kind of love it is. It's the love of a father for his son, who is about to give his son as a sacrificial offering.

Let's go on. And it says, go to the land of Moriah. What is Moriah? Well, 2 Chronicles tells us that Mount Moriah was the place that a man named Ornan had a threshing floor on.

David bought it. Solomon built a temple on it. The temple was built on Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah is a ridge of mountains in Jerusalem. If you go north of the temple area to the north where the Mount Moriah goes to the peak, the very pinnacle, that pinnacle is called Golgotha, Calvary. The place where Jesus later would be crucified. That was the peak of Mount Moriah. Something else you have to look at in verse 4, it says, Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place far off.

In other words, it was a three-day journey to get there. Third day he sees it. So, what does that mean? God gives him a command. Kill your son. Three days later, he goes to the place, almost kills his son, the angel stops him, and it's like a moment of relief.

Here's the point. Isaac, in Abraham's mind, was dead for three days. It was the third day that, as Hebrews said, he saw like a resurrection. He came back to life.

I don't have to go through with it. On the third day. Then, in verse 6, Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac. He carried it up to the place of sacrifice. So, like Isaac, Jesus faced a sacrificial death at the hand of his own father. Like Isaac, Jesus too carried the wood on which he would give his life. Like Isaac, Jesus also carried it up to Mount Moriah.

But that's where the similarity ends. For Jesus, there was no ram caught in a thicket. For Jesus, there was no substitute so that he himself could live. The father went through, the father in heaven, God the father went through with what only Abraham contemplated.

Almost went through. God actually sacrificed his son. So, when Abraham lifted that knife, all of heaven must have marveled at how a man could love God so. But when Jesus died on Mount Moriah, on that cross, all of heaven was stunned at how God could love mankind so.

I'm going to close with this story I found in Decision Magazine, written by Janice Zeiler. She writes, I remember when I was five or six years old having a big writing tablet on which I could do block printing. I took a sheet of tablet paper, folded it in half, and I wrote, I love you, on the outside, or on the inside.

I put my dad's name on the outside, covered it with hearts, and set it on his dresser. I made a valentine for him, and it wasn't even Valentine's Day. Eagerly, I anticipated what I thought would be an enthusiastic response. It never came. The next afternoon, I discovered the valentine in the wastebasket.

This has to be a mistake, I thought. He must not have seen it. I lifted the valentine from the trash and carefully stood it up in the center of his dresser.

My heart was pounding the next day when I checked the wastebasket. It was there again, only this time it was crumpled with some other papers. He must not have liked it, I thought, or maybe he didn't see it. So I smoothed out the creases as best I could, placed the valentine on his dresser once more, and I made sure that it was very conspicuous so that this time he would see it. The next day, Dad called me to him and he said, Will you quit putting that note on my dresser? I already know that you love me. How disappointing. What an epic fail for a father responding to the love of a daughter. Here's a valentine crumpled. He's given us his valentine.

Not written in pencil, written in blood. And you can crumple it up and say, Yeah, I know that. I know God loves me.

I've heard that all before. I've heard this cross thing, crumple, crumple, toss, discard. Or it can touch you at the core and realize this is how much God loves me. You could respond by reciprocating that love. You don't have to. You could toss it out. Many people live their whole lives tossing out the valentine.

Or you could change that. Turning your worst time into worship. That's the lesson in Skip Heitzig's message from the series Bloodline. Tracing God's rescue mission from Eden to eternity. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can connect more people around the world with the timeless truth of God's Word. All believers are called to help others encounter the God who is seeking them out. And our goal is to come alongside friends like you to encourage you to help others connect with God through His Word.

That's why we share these messages with you and with others. And today, you can take action to ensure these teachings keep reaching you and so many others worldwide. You can help make that possible with your generosity.

Can I count on your support? Here's how you can give a gift today. Visit slash donate to give a gift. That's slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And be sure to come back tomorrow for Skip's message about how God has passed over believers, sparing them from death. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-18 07:32:06 / 2024-03-18 07:42:01 / 10

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