Genesis 22:2: “Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

July 6th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The words, “whom you love,” jump right out at us from the page. Abraham was being told by God to take his son, the son he had waited so long for, the son he loved, and sacrifice him. To say this is a significant Scripture is the understatement of the year. First of all this is the first appearance of the word “love” in the Bible. Many have observed that in Scripture study there seems to be a thread of truth in something called “the law of first mention.” The first way a word is presented and used in context usually determines how the term is used throughout the rest of the Bible. Love is the essential word here. We have the vantage point of 4000 years of hindsight to view this introduction to the word love.

We are told in the New Testament that “God is love;” therefore, the meaning of love is critical for our correct perception of God’s character. We find a great truth embedded in this story. Abraham’s fatherly love for his son is a mirror of God’s fatherly love for His Son, Jesus. This is the earliest prophetic picture of Father God giving His only Son “whom he loved” to be sacrificed for us. We can be confident that it is not a coincidence that the first mention of love in the New Testament is also of a father’s love for his son, when Matthew’s gospel describes the baptism of Jesus. As Jesus stepped down into the water to be baptized, the Voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

Both father Abraham in the Old Testament and Father God in the New Testament point to their greatly loved sons. One other interesting “first mention” of the word love, in the Gospel of John, is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” How amazing that God first loved us while we were still held captive in our sins.

“LORD, please remind us to share Your great love with others this day.”