Abraham is Asked to Sacrifice His Own Son
World English Bible Genesis 22
1 After these things, God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
He said, “Here I am.”
2 He said, “Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”
3 Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off. 5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship, and come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. 7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, “My father?”
He said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together. 9 They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.
11 Yahweh’s angel called to him out of the sky, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He said, “Here I am.”
12 He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
13 Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh Will Provide.* As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.”
15 Yahweh’s angel called to Abraham a second time out of the sky, 16 and said, “I have sworn by myself, says Yahweh, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your offspring† greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your offspring‡ will possess the gate of his enemies. 18 All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring,§ because you have obeyed my voice.”
19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.
20 After these things, Abraham was told, “Behold, Milcah, she also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
Thoughts for the day
What is going on here? is the first question that comes to mind. Are we sure Abraham is not delusional and schizophrenic? What’s is the meaning of all this? God told Abraham, that he is to take his only begotten son out to a remote place and sacrifice him, how do you make a great nation out of a dead son?
With Abraham, we know a few things to be true. God spoke to Abraham, and Abraham knew God’s voice. Abraham trusted God and did what he was told every time God gave him orders. Abraham, did have a history of trying to help God out without consulting God as we saw with the conception of Ismael, and Abraham had a real issue with telling the truth. We saw Abraham’s inability to tell the truth in his dealings with Abemilech. Abraham always did what God told him; however ridiculous it might have been. So for this task, God’s choosing of Abraham as the great patriarch was the right choice. Few could have done what God asked of Abraham without having told God where to get off.
Abraham takes Isaac to the mountain. On the way Isaac asks where is the sacrifice? why have you not brought one to the mountain? Abraham, true to character lies and tells Isaac God will provide one when they get there. Abraham, is always game when it comes to doing what God says to do, but never trusts that God can handle the little details along the way.
When they arrive on the mountain, Abraham ties up his kid, places him on the alter and begins to sacrifice the boy. This sounds more like a pagan ritual to a satanic god that we read in fictional literature, than our loving God. Why would God command such a dastardly act from his servant?
Honestly, I believe God required this act of Abraham to show Satan, his minions, and the world that this man was worth saving. Abraham’s family line was a worthy starting point for what would be God’s chosen people, as they had the ultimate love and respect for God.
Abraham was willing to give everything and anything to God; he loved God, and knew that in the end God would ultimately bless him; no matter how crazy the sacrifice might be. Abraham had a lot of faults, but his love for God and carrying out God’s will was not one of them. This was no exception, Abraham did what he was told. Fortunately, God was only showing us that Abraham would give his all, but God did not require his son in that capacity. God provided a ram and a more acceptable sacrifice was made for the task at hand.
Abraham sacrificing his only son, was a foreshadow to an event that would occur nearly 3000 years in the future in John 3:16 – “God So loved the world that he sacrificed his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish” It helps us understand what it means to believe. Abraham believed in God, God believed in Abraham. Everlasting life is now ours because of these two events, as long as we believe In Christ, like Abraham believed in God.
This is a strange chapter where God used a harsh object lesson to teach us what faith truly is. Prove to the evil ones and the righteous ones that from the family of Abraham and God; God would redeem the earth. This act of love and faith on Abraham’s part set the stage for a 3000-year plan of redemption, which ends at John 3:16. Abraham had a long way to go in becoming a man of perfect character. He did however manifest perfect belief.
We will not likely ever be asked by God to sacrifice our children to him in that manner, but God does require us to believe in Christ as Abraham believed in God. We have to be willing to make that ultimate sacrifice just as Abraham was willing and as God did. Are you ready and willing?
Have wonderful day… Praise God for every moment, even if that moment is not what you had in mind.