In The Beginning God Part 12

Kingwell By Kingwell, 21st Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3o98wfft/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Religion>Christianity

God tempts Abraham by telling him to take his son Isaac, the boy who had been born to him and Sarah in their old age, and sacrifice him as a burnt offering.

God Tempts Abraham.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: James1:13 Although this quote is from the New Testament, it is also from the Christian Bible which includes both the Old and New Testaments all of which many Christian say that they take literally. I use this quote here because In Genesis chapter 22:1 we read “And it came to pass after these things that God tempted Abraham and said unto him Abraham: and he said, behold here I am”. Now the God of Abraham is the same God that the apostle James is talking about in the New Testament yet one says clearly that God tempted Abraham and the other says just as positively, that God doesn’t tempt any man! Once again I am simply pointing out things that many people may not have noticed when reading the Bible.
We will now return to Genesis and see how and why God is tempting Abraham. So what does God say when he realizes that he has Abraham’s ear? “Take now thy son thine only son Isaac whom thou lovest and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of”. Genesis 22:2. Wow! Now that must have been quite a shock for the old man! First God has been telling him for years that he and Sarah are going to have a son, than he waits until they have completely given up hope, before Isaac is born when he is an hundred and Sarah ninety years old! God has also promised great things for his descendants through Isaac. Now he is telling him that he must kill his son, that is offer him as a burnt offering!
Well, if Abraham is having any such thoughts we do not hear of it. Such is his determination to please God that he gets up early the following morning saddles his donkey, cleaves the wood, takes his son Isaac who carries the wood while he takes fire in a pot as well as a knife and with two servants set out for the place that God had spoken of. They travel for nearly three days before Abraham sees the spot and tells the two servants to stay there with the donkey while he and Isaac go further to worship God. Isaac however, is smart enough to realize that something is missing and turning to his father says “behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham replies my son God will provide himself a lamb” Genesis 22:7-8.

Isaac's Life Is Saved.

Finally they come to the place and Abraham builds an altar there, lays out the wood and tying up his young son, lays him on the altar! Abraham takes the knife to kill his son but before he can touch the boy the angel of the Lord calls unto him out of heaven. “ Lay not thine hand upon the lad , neither do thou anything unto him for now I know that thou fearest God seeing thou has not withheld thy son thine only son from me” Genesis 22:12. It is then that Abraham sees a ram caught up in the trees and quickly captures and kills it for an offering to God in place of his son.
Before they leave, the angel of the Lord calls out of heaven once again. “by myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son that in blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is upon the seashore; thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” Genesis 22:16- 18. Abraham and Isaac now return to where the servants were with the donkey and all returned to Beersheba where Abraham continued to live.
Some people question whether God really ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son saying it may have been a figment of the old man’s imagination. After all it was common for those living around him to offer up a child to their Gods. Be that as it may however, did anyone see anything strange about this story? One of my thoughts was,(since God refers to Isaac as Abraham’s only son three times in the story) has God perhaps .forgotten about Ishmael? He had already blessed Ishmael and promised to make of him a great nation but now he seemed to be speaking as though no son existed except Isaac. The second thing that bothers me about this story is since God knows even our thoughts, he would have known about Abraham’s faith and that he really would sacrifice his son if asked. Surely, to demand the sacrifice of a child just to gratify one’s ego is not very godlike.
TO BE CONTINUED - See Part 13
See Part 1

Tags

A Burnt Offering, Abraham And Isaac, Bible, Blessing, Faith, Fire, God, God Of Abraham, Kingwell, New Testament, Sacrifice, Son

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar spirited
22nd Apr 2015 (#)

You have certainly researched these articles well Kingwell.

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"

My only explanation for this seeming inconsistency is to finish the sentence above like this:

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man with evil:"

As God can do no evil by definition because he is perfectly good, what he did to Abraham was not tempting him with an evil act, but more with a test of Abraham's faith.

Even if Abraham had killed the boy, presumably God could've still restored him to life.

We know we have faith, God knows this too, but in a real test would this faith still courageously be followed, perhaps this is what God was discerning here.

My own faith would have deserted me if I was asked to do this I think, especially in this day and age, when attempted murder is also a major crime.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
22nd Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Spirited and I see your point. However, I cannot add words to what is there. The epistle of James goes on to say "but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed". James 1:14. The letter of James is worthy of study as it has some excellent teachings.Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar spirited
22nd Apr 2015 (#)

thanks Kingwell,

I never looked up the rest of the chapter before replying, sometimes it is a good idea for us to do just that, and to read on for just a bit more.

Some questions we have are answered when we read on like this, without jumping to a hasty conclusion, or two.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
23rd Apr 2015 (#)

Very good work! Thank you for this great share!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
23rd Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Jessica.

Reply to this comment

author avatar writershirley lopez
23rd Apr 2015 (#)

Great work!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
24th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you writershirley. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol Roach
24th Apr 2015 (#)

yes that also made me wonder God already new the outcome. I think it might just be the precursor to the actual killing of the son, Jesus.

Then it could also have marked the change in the hebrews from human sacrifice to animal and vegetable sacrifice only.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
26th Apr 2015 (#)

Hi Carol, Yes many consider it a forerunner to God sending his son to die for the sins of the world. I don't see it that way but again I am only one person. Thank you for following. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Apr 2015 (#)

Interesting interpretation and analysis, thanks Kingwell. Every belief leads to varied interpretations; we may never know the reality of the times and the full meaning behind the many incidents referred to. Maybe, we should not question God's motives! We tend to interpret God's thinking our way - that he is just human like us. Hopefully, He will make a revisit to hold our hands for a while! siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
27th Apr 2015 (#)

Thank you Siva. I am really questioning the validity of the story itself. We have to remember that such stories were passed down by word of mouth before they were written down. Perhaps Abraham was influenced by the people who lived around him and remember too, the command to offer up his son came to him in a dream. You are right about God and we all need him to visit and hold our hands. What a great thought! Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Helen Thomas
13th Jun 2015 (#)

4 "Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and WE WILL COME BACK TO YOU."

It seems clear hear that Abraham had strong faith and knew that he and Isaac both would be returning.

Another thing that I believe trips us up at ties ~ is that ~ we seem to forget that the Scriptures were not originally written in the English language ~ but the Hebrew (Old Testament) and the Greek and Aramaic (New Testament) and it seems that ~ more often than not ~ there is no word for word rendering from Hebrew to English nor of Greek or Aramaic to English.

Love this ~ Amen.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
13th Jun 2015 (#)

Thanks Helen, I thought a little differently in that I always felt that Abraham did not want anyone to know that he intended to sacrifice his son - and that why he told the young men that they would be back but your thoughts do put a different spin on the story and I like that. You are right too about the translation. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Helen Thomas
13th Jun 2015 (#)

Ooops ~ at times ~ not at ties.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
13th Jun 2015 (#)

Thank you Helen. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password