1. THE SEED OF PROMISE
a. Even though Abraham asked God for one seed to be his heir, how many children did God promise to bless him with? Genesis 13:15, 16; 15:2–5.
b. How does the apostle Paul reveal that God’s promises made to Abraham were to be realized through one very special seed, Jesus Christ? Genesis 17:1–8; Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 2:14–16.
“Plain and specific prophecies had been given regarding the appearance of the Promised One. To Adam was given an assurance of the coming of the Redeemer. The sentence pronounced on Satan, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’ (Genesis 3:15), was to our first parents a promise of the redemption to be wrought out through Christ.
“To Abraham was given the promise that of his line the Saviour of the world should come: ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’ ‘He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ’ (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16).”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 222.
2. THE BIRTH OF THE PROMISED SEED
a. How do we know that Abraham was aware that the promises were to come through a very special seed, Jesus Christ? John 8:56.
“[Abraham] was given a view of the divine sacrifice for sin. Of this sacrifice he had an illustration in his own experience. . . . Upon the altar of sacrifice he laid the son of promise, the son in whom his hopes were centered. . . .
“Abraham learned of God the greatest lesson ever given to mortal. His prayer that he might see Christ before he should die was answered. He saw Christ; he saw all that mortal can see, and live. By making an entire surrender, he was able to understand the vision of Christ, which had been given him. He was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 468, 469.
b. Seeing that Sarah was past the age of child-bearing, what did Abraham and Sarah need before they could have a child? Genesis 17:15–19; 18:9–14; Mark 10:27.
“I would that all could realize what possibilities and probabilities there are for all who make Christ their sufficiency and their trust. The life hid with Christ in God ever has a refuge; he can say, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philippians 4:13).”—Country Living, p. 28.
c. In what ways did the miracle birth of Isaac symbolize the miracle birth of the promised seed, Jesus Christ? Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18–23.
“The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 98.
3. DEATH OF THE PROMISED SEED
a. Describe how God predicted the death of the promised seed, Jesus Christ, through the sacrifice of Isaac. Genesis 22:1–3, 9–13; Romans 8:31, 32; Isaiah 53:4–7.
“The ram offered in the place of Isaac represented the Son of God, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death by transgression of the law of God, the Father, looking upon His Son, said to the sinner, ‘Live: I have found a ransom.’
“It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame. The angels who witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God were not permitted to interpose, as in the case of Isaac. There was no voice to cry, ‘It is enough.’ To save the fallen race, the King of glory yielded up His life. What stronger proof can be given of the infinite compassion and love of God?”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 154.
b. What was significant about the expression “thine only son” as God spoke to Abraham? Genesis 22:2; Mark 1:11; 1 John 4:9.
“Our heavenly Father surrendered His beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion. . . . God’s dear Son, the world’s Redeemer, was insulted, mocked at, derided, and tortured, until He bowed His head in death. What greater proof can the Infinite One give us of His divine love and pity? [Romans 8:32 quoted].”—That I May Know Him, p. 20.
“Let us, then, cheerfully suffer something for Jesus’ sake, crucify self daily, and be partakers of Christ’s sufferings here, that we may be made partakers with Him of His glory, and be crowned with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life.”—Early Writings, p. 114.
4. RESURRECTION OF THE PROMISED SEED
a. How did God show to Abraham that the promised seed, Jesus Christ, was to be the Saviour of the world? Genesis 22:7, 8, 11–13; Hebrews 11:17–19.
“When the command was given to Abraham to offer up his son, the interest of all heavenly beings was enlisted. With intense earnestness they watched each step in the fulfillment of this command. When to Isaac’s question, ‘Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham made answer, ‘God will provide Himself a lamb’ (Genesis 22:7, 8); and when the father’s hand was stayed as he was about to slay his son, and the ram which God had provided was offered in the place of Isaac—then light was shed upon the mystery of redemption, and even the angels understood more clearly the wonderful provision that God had made for man’s salvation.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 155.
b. What wonderful truth was Abraham assured of as he laid hold of the promise, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Genesis 21:12)? Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:18, 19.
“[Abraham] strengthened his soul by dwelling upon the evidences of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. This son had been unexpectedly given; and had not He who bestowed the precious gift a right to recall His own? Then faith repeated the promise, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called’—a seed numberless as the grains of sand upon the shore. Isaac was the child of a miracle, and could not the power that gave him life restore it? Looking beyond that which was seen, Abraham grasped the divine word, ‘accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead’ (Hebrews 11:19).”—Ibid., pp. 151, 152.
c. How did this truth typify the true promised seed, Jesus Christ? Acts 3:25, 26; 1 Peter 1:18–21.
“[The Son of God] rose from the grave and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:25). One equal with God passed through death in our behalf. He tasted death for every man, that through Him every man might be a partaker of eternal life.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 13.
5. INHERITANCE OF THE PROMISED SEED
a. What inheritance did God promise to Abraham and his seed? Genesis 17:7, 8; Psalm 105:6–11. How does this symbolize the inheritance of Christ? Daniel 7:13, 14, 18; Matthew 25:31–34.
“Language fails to express the value of the immortal inheritance. The glory, riches, and honor offered by the Son of God are of such infinite value that it is beyond the power of men or even angels to give any just idea of their worth, their excellence, their magnificence.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 40.
b. How can we have the assurance that God will honor His promises and give His children the Promised Land? Hebrews 6:13–18; John 14:1–3.
“Long have we waited for our Saviour’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.”—Ibid., vol. 8, p. 254.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How did God reveal to Abraham the Gospel?
2. What miracle declares Christ to be of divine origin?
3. How does the experience of Abraham and Isaac reveal the depths of the sacrifice God made for humankind?
4. Why is the resurrection so important to the believer?
5. What should we never forget as we await the land of inheritance?