Posted by: bshelley | August 28, 2008

Sacrificial Mount

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

I was doing some preparatory reading for a class we are beginning next week on the Levitical Sacrificial System and came across something that just stopped me in my tracks. I reread it four times trying to soak in the significance of what was being said. If true, it was to me shocking that I had never heard it before. The author I was reading is Alfred Edersheim. His book, The Temple, is a wonderful description of the Temple its history and relevance to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. So, have a seat and listen up.

“A little while later, and this same Abraham was coming up from Hebron on his mournful journey, to offer up his only son. A few miles south of the city, the road which he travelled climbs up the top of a high promontory, that juts into the deep Kedron valley. From this spot, through the cleft of the mountains which the Kedron has made its course, one object rose up straight up before him. It was Moriah, the mount on which the sacrifice of Isaac was to be offered. Here Solomon afterwards built the Temple. For over Mount Moriah David had seen the hand of the destroying angel stayed, probably just above where afterwards fro the large alter of burnt-offering the smoke of countless sacrifices rose day by day.” pages 2-3.

I had never put all these pieces together. Isn’t it just like God as He reveals layer on layer of preparation of His divine plan for salvation, the price paid on a cross near this very same location? So let’s walk through the layers. Abraham, in an incredible act of faith and obedience, is led to Mount Moriah to offer up his only son as a sacrifice. Once there, God stays his hand and provides a substitutionary sacrifice by way of a ram. Is the story starting to have a ring of foreshadowing yet? God gives King David a vision above this same Mount Moriah leading to the construction of the Temple on that very site where God’s very presence dwelt among His people and sacrifices of worship and atonement were made. Mount Moriah is one of the four hills on which Jerusalem sits. It is the hill on which the Temple was built. God ultimately offers His only Son here just outside the gates as a sacrifice, this time for full atonement, for our sins. All things led to that place and that moment. Better still is that the higher of the four hills, that rises even above Moriah, is Zion.

Lord, I am constantly amazed at deftness and depth by which you weave the intricacy of Your revelation. Thank You for the reminder that Your hand has been steady and at work throughout all history, which is ultimately the revelation of Your love and offer of redemption for all people who would come to You. Thank You Lord. Amen

Audio Version: seeking-gods-heart-genesis-22_2


  1. The Levitical sacrifices are enormously symbolic, I’m sure this will be an excellent study. I don’t know exactly where the resources would be online, but Joseph Prince has some amazing teachings on the Levitical symbolism and the NT expression.

    Last summer we were fortunately enough to go on a mission trip to Israel, and the Old Testament came alive like never before. Standing on the Mount of Olives looking over the Temple Mount and the Old City, it’s almost otherworldly. Good luck with your study. I’m sure it will be great.

    Always great to get my Friday a.m. dose of Seeking God’s Heart.

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