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#274 – Nothing Withheld from God (Genesis 22:15–18)

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“And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
(Genesis 22:15-18)

Genesis chapter 22 verses 15 through 18. When I was reading these verses, I was struck, not just by the promises of blessing to Abraham here which are huge. They’re abundant, and we’ve seen those in different places. Genesis 12, Genesis 15, Genesis 17, but here in Genesis 22, remember the story. This is when God tells Abraham to offer his son, his only son, the promised son, Isaac, on the altar, and Abraham shows that he’s willing to do it. He takes his son. He’s got his knife raised above him because this is what God has told him to do, and in that moment, God provides a ram, a sacrifice so that Isaac is able to live and shows, God shows, that he provides.

Abraham’s example of obedience exhorts Christians to entrust God with our lives.

But when I read these verses, verses 15 through 18, and God, through the angel of the Lord, says to Abraham, “Because you’ve done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you. I’ll bless you all these ways because you have obeyed by voice.” Verse 18 says, and I just think in my own life, I want that to be said of me, that I did not withhold anything from God, that I didn’t hold on to anything in my life, even my life itself, that my life and everything I have was before God as an offering to be used by him, for him, his purposes, his glory, however he wants. I don’t want to withhold anything from God. I want to encourage you not to withhold anything from God.
The whole point here, in Genesis 22, is that God is faithful to provide for those who trust in him. And I just want to encourage you, as I’ve been encouraged in my own heart, let’s trust in him with everything we are and everything we have. Let’s obey his voice, do whatever he tells us to do because our lives and everything we have, even that which is most precious to us, belongs ultimately to him.

So God, we say to you now, and I say in my heart, I just want to pray this on behalf of others. God, we surrender our lives to you and our families to you, our future, our dreams and plans, our possessions, oh God, they all belong to you. Everything we are, everything we have, God, we want to trust you with it all so we lay it before you as an offering, and we pray, use us, use all that we have to accomplish your purposes, and we trust that you will be faithful to provide all along the way. There’s no better place, no better hands, to put our lives in, our families in, our future in, our plans, our dreams, our possessions in, than your hands. You are so good. You are so gracious. You are working for our good. You’re working for your glory, and you will use everything we put in your hands towards that end, so God, we trust in you. We surrender to you. Please help us. Please help me. Please help all who are listening right now, not to hold on tightly to anything in our lives, to hold loosely to it, to place it before you that you might use it however you want, that you might use us, our lives, and everything we put in your hands for your purposes as we trust you as our provider. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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