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Isaiah 40:12-31

The greatness of God
* He is great in Himself. Before the world was created, God is great: “In the beginning, God....” (Genesis 1:1).
* He is great for us. This is the great message that comes to us from Isaiah 40:28-31.
God is great in love. God is great in power. God is great in holiness. God is great in faithfulness.
* Love - “God is love” (1 John 4:16); “God so loved the world...” (John 3:16); “God showed His love for us...” (Romans 5:8).
* Power - the power of God’s love - “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5); “He is able to keep us from falling” (Jude 24).
* Holiness - God is holy. Through his love and His power, He is working to make us holy. As well as the command - “Be holy”, there is the promise - “You shall be holy.”
* Faithfulness - “Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22). God is faithful. He will accomplish His purpose in us (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
* Glory - Jude 24-25 and Revelation 1:5-6. God shares His glory with us.

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God continues to carry forward His great purpose of salvation.

Genesis 16:1-16
We move from salvation and the assurance of salvation to Satan and the activity of Satan. Sarai came with temptation - "Why don't you sleep with my slave? Maybe I can build a family through her." Abram gave in to temptation -"Abram agreed with Sarai (Genesis 16:2). The evil influence of Sarai continued: "Sarai mistreated Hagar so much that she ran away" (Genesis 16:6). When we read of Satan and his activity, we must not imagine, for a moment, that Satan wins the victory over the Lord and His purpose of salvation. This becomes clear as the story develops. The Lord's purpose will not be thwarted by the activity of Satan. The "Almighty Lord" will be victorious. This chapter ends with the birth of Ishmael. It is not a high- point in the purpose of God. It is a sign that Satan is trying to overthrow God and His gracious purpose. This leads to a 13-year gap in God's speaking to Abraham (Genesis 16:16-17:1), but that…

Isaac and Jesus

Genesis 22:1-24
Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac - "You did not refuse to give Me your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:12). God did give His only Son for us - "God did not spare His only Son but handed Him over to death for us all" (Romans 8:32). While there may be comparisons made between the sacrifice of Isaac and the sacrifice of Jesus, we must emphasize the great difference - the sacrifice of Isaac did not happen, the sacrifice of Jesus did. For Isaac, there was a way out. For Jesus, there was no other way. Abraham's faith was proved genuine without the sacrifice of Isaac. Our faith only becomes a reality through the sacrifice of Christ (Galatians 2:20-21; Galatians 3:13-14).