After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose 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 from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”: as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.
20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, Milcah 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 fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
The nature of testing. Abraham certainly did not want to have his young employees think he was of violent intent. What if???
What if...Abraham had been similarly argumentative to God when Abraham verbally contested God, asking Him to allow more people to live. What if Abraham had argued with God and said, "No way, You are God, use Your own methods. And spare my boy, please, Dear God."
Let's see...how that holds water - the Living variety of Water.
Through Christ Jesus our Lord,in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Abraham knew this too well to ignore this:
5 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
Previous conversations had revealed this to Abraham:
32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”
Why did God abhor Baal worship? Why did HE say over and over again - don't marry them, don't raid their goods, don't dwell with them -
Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of infants. .... babies were roasted to death inside the burning pit of the god Baal Hamon, a bronze statue. Infant children were sacrificed to Baal in order to secure prosperity. Something we had best consider on our stance on abortion.
Abraham forgot to wrestle God. Perhaps the greater test was to see if Abraham would understand God's Nature. And God would still rescue Abraham and fulfill His Word in His Faithfulness.
Now if you are still in the literal part of this story and not wondering if God would have hurt feelings with Abram; One richly blessed of God... what other time did God ask a child of anyone? He would only put Himself on the Cross for us.
Just as God would not have need for us to decide Death or Life of a loved one - for His Sake, these are in His Hands, He would not have us go to Church and Confess the Sins of someone else. Remember with me, God loved Abraham for asking mercy for others.
God never says sacrifice someone else. He never says confess someone else's sins. He says Give me the day and provide for me, please. Forgive me when I do what is sinful, Forgive others.
Wrestling. Is honest. Abraham had no name to call God. Jacob had no name to call God. We simply Cannot argue Abraham wasn't credited to be righteous in God's sight. Abraham was supposed to know His Father God.
And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.
God shared His name with Moses. Moses was willing to put down his life, be embarrassed, be part of something cataclysmic, and Be Uncomfortable.
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in Love and faithfulness."
God told us His Nature. Let's be clear. I'm not saying God did not say these things to Abraham, I'm saying Abraham forgot to Wrestle God. Jacob Wrestled God and received a blessing. All Abraham got was rescued, affirmed for loyalty and a ram. I'm saying the variable factor here is the confidence to say - Just Like David did -
2 Samuel 24:14
Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man."
Today. Is the Scripture applicable - yes, we see people all the time at the Pregnancy Assistance Center who tell us God says He is okay with wiping out life - He created. This is an applicable story today.
Psalm 86:5 A prayer of David.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Life is a little bit like this Scripture Passage. What are you willing to put up with in attitudes and opinions - God saved Abraham. Baal would not. Just because opinion would put you down the salmon line up, where would God have you stand up and say Not Me & you Should Not Ask. Lucy always pressed on Charlie Brown's head. My first attempt at painting - was met with the jealous comment - where did I get That Painting - and upon learning I had painted it from a photograph - 'Well That Painting needed a fence around it' - God saved Abraham. Baal would not. Never forget that " no", even without argument, is a powerful word.
Father God, we cannot dwell in hindsight as Abraham just have done. You are not a God who asks for guilt and shame to separate us. This is only a foothold of the devil. Does trouble tell us You have departed? No, in Jesus Christ the Victory is Sure. God has this Overwhelming Victory for us because of His Great Love for us.
Nothing would have taken God's love from Abraham. Not death, He could have given without Abraham's help. Not life of Isaac, from refusal to kill. Not from the sins of all the people in the Scripture. Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God, revealed in the fullness of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!!!
O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!