Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. Take a moment to list places, organizations, and businesses you can think of that use “provident” or “providence” as part of their names. (Feel free to use your phone or other smart device.) What is being communicated by using such words in a name?
2. Think of someone you know whom you consider to be a good provider. Why do you think of that person in that way? In your experience, what connection does the verb sacrifice have to the verb provide?
Read Genesis 22:1-3.
1. It is said that a good news story answers the questions, who, what, when, where, and why. How are those “5 Ws” answered in these three short verses?
2. Notice God’s description of Isaac as Abraham’s only son. Did God make a mistake? (See Genesis 16:15; 25:1, 2.) Could there be an even greater significance in God’s choosing to use that title for Isaac? (Explain by referring to John 3:16; 1 John 4:9.)
Read Genesis 22:6-10.
3. Consider Isaac’s question and Abraham’s answer (vv. 7, 8). Given that Isaac himself was the lamb, how is it true that God provided the lamb? (Recall the events of 18:1-15; 21:1-7). Why would it be accurate to refer to Isaac as the lamb of God and the son of God in this account?
4. Imagine Abraham, having bound Isaac to the altar, standing over him with a knife raised above him. What thoughts do you think went through his head at that moment? How does the inspired commentary from Hebrews 11:17-19 clarify the situation?
Read Genesis 22:11-14.
. The place of the events described here is called Moriah (v. 2) and the “mountain of the Lord” (v. 14). How do 2 Chronicles 3:1 and Micah 4:2 further explain the significance of the statement made in Genesis 22:14 about the place of God’s provision?
6. Skim through Genesis 22:1-14, underlining these phrases: your only son, on the third day, the wood . . . placed on his son. How do these phrases take on new significance in light of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that would occur about 2,000 years later?
7. Note the twist in this account. While we start out believing it to be about what Abraham would sacrifice, we learn it to be about God as the provider of the sacrifice! Compose a prayer that focuses not on what God requires you to sacrifice, but what he has sacrificed for you.