Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Abraham: An Original Love Story (Bible Study Series by Beth Moore)

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By Unknown - Bible Pictures with brief descriptions by Charles Foster, published in 1897, Philadelphia, PA, Public Domain,

We are now in day 4 of our Beth Moore Bible study, A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place.  Today, we are looking at the story of Abraham and his sacrifice, the sacrifice that was almost his son.  You might be wondering what all this history has to do with a Bible study about a woman’s heart.  Truth be told, I’m still wondering how Beth will tie all this wisdom and knowledge together as well.  However, I’m enjoying the Biblical history as I watch it all come together.  I do know this.  Beth’s overall theme for A Woman’s Heart:  God’s Dwelling Place is to emphasize that God’s desire is to dwell among us.  She finds this truth in scripture from Genesis all the way through the building of the tabernacle.  Beth takes us through Biblical history to lay the foundation for the whole study.  During week 1, she wants us to answer 5 questions:
  1.  Why were the Israelites to build the tabernacle?
  2. What is the human heart like apart from fellowship with God?
  3. how did God respond to what He saw at the tower of Babel?
  4. What did God preach to Abraham?
  5. By what name did God tell Moses to call Him to the Israelites?
We began to answer these questions in our previous lessons:
The Introduction
Day 1: The Empty Garden
Day 2: A Perfect Heart
Day 3: A People for His Name

Abraham:  An Original Love Story

Now, we’re at day 4, The Original Love Story. We begin with a scripture verse from Genesis 22:2.
Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about. – Genesis 22:2
Genesis 22 is particularly beautiful to me because paints a beautiful picture of the gospel of Jesus.  God gave Abraham a first hand personal glimpse into the future – a glimpse into the message of salvation for future generations.

To summarize Genesis 22:

God tells Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, to the land of Moriah and offer him up as a sacrifice.  The next morning, Abraham got up early, saddled his donkey, split wood for the sacrifice, and took Isaac and two of his men to the place where God told him to go.  As Abraham and Isaac walked to the place of sacrifice, Isaac, carrying the wood asked his father, “Father (Daddy), we have the wood and a knife, but where is the lamb for the offering?”

Abraham answered, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the offering.”

When they came to the place of sacrifice, Abraham built an alter, arranged the wood, and then bound his son, Isaac, and laid him on the alter.  Just as Abraham was about to slay Isaac with the knife, an angel appeared to Him and said to Abraham, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by his horns.  Abraham then took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering in place of his son.

Abraham named the place The Lord Will Provide.

The angel came to Abraham a second time and said to Abraham,
By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.  In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.
My favorite Beth Moore quote from today’s Bible study is this: 
“The very heart of the gospel is realizing that God did not simply provide a sacrifice for us but instead of us.  That is the good news.  There is only one way to receive it after we have understood it – with profound humility and gratitude.  Maybe even on our knees.”
 Read all posts in this series here.

If you would like to go through the complete Bible study, I encourage you to purchase A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place by Beth Moore here.  In order to protect Beth’s work, I will only summarize what I learn, but you will get glimpses into Beth’s wisdom and you will, hopefully, decide to complete the entire Bible study on your own. If you complete the study on your own or if you host a study, you'll need the complete leader kit which contains the DVDs.  You can get the complete leader kit here.
A Woman's Heart:  God's Dwelling Place
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