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.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and 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. (Genesis 22:6-8)
What gave Abraham that great confidence? We know that He believed God to propagate his seed through Isaac but what inspired him to boldly declare, “God will provide the lamb”? The answer may be found in the Hebrew words translated “the place afar off.”
The Hebrew term המקום ha’makom – “the place” – is also a title ascribed to God — He is in every place at all times. As the psalmist said: “If I ascend into heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there” (Psalm 139:8). There is nowhere we can go that He is not already there thus He is “the place.”
The Hebrew word מרחק merachok – “afar off, in the distance” – can be measured either in space or time. On surface of the text, Abraham saw the particular place he was to go in the distance. Looking below the surface of the text, the Bible hints that he saw “the LORD in the distance of time.” Considering that this occurred on the third day of his journey, what exactly did he see? I believe Yeshua provided the answer when He said:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56)
So what did he see on that day that prompted him to say to Isaac, “God will provide the lamb.” I’m convinced that he saw a vision of the resurrected Messiah and seeing that gave him the confidence that God was going to bring him through his trial. Likewise, as we go through trials and struggles, it would behoove us to focus on the resurrected Messiah. Knowing that He has overcome the world will give us the inspiration we need to continue following Him that we might also overcome. In the future, what we know will not see us through what’s coming upon the earth; who we know and in whom we have believed will make the difference.
Blessings and Shalom,