Why did God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Abraham had obeyed God many times in his walk with Him, but no test could have been more severe than the one in Genesis 22. God commanded, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and g...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

1340324413 Chris Eleam Chris Eleam
ABRAHAM loved God. That faithful patriarch also loved Isaac, the son of his old age. But when Isaac was possibly 25 years old, Abraham faced a test that went against the natural instincts of a father—God told him to sacrifice his son. The story, however, did not end in Isaac’s death. At the critical moment, God intervened by means of an angel. This Bible account, recorded at Genesis 22:1-18, gives us a prophetic glimpse into God’s great love for us.
“God put Abraham to the test,” says verse 1. Abraham was a man of faith, but now his faith would be tested as never before. God said: “Take, please, your son, your only son whom you so love, Isaac, and . . . offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall designate to you.” (Verse 2) Remember, God does not allow his servants to be tried beyond what they can bear. So this test showed his confidence in Abraham.—1 Corinthians 10:13.

Abraham responded with prompt obedience. We read: “Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his ass and took two of his attendants with him and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering. Then he rose and went on the trip.” (Verse 3) Abraham evidently kept the details of the test to himself.
A three-day trip followed, giving time for somber reflection. But Abraham’s resolve did not weaken. The words he spoke revealed his faith. Upon seeing the selected mountain in the distance, he told his servants: “You stay here . . . , but I and the boy want to go on over there and worship and return to you.” When Isaac asked where the sheep was for the offering, Abraham said: “God will provide himself the sheep.” (Verses 5, 8) Abraham expected to return with his son. Why? Because “he reckoned that God was able to raise him [Isaac] up even from the dead.”—Hebrews 11:19.

Up on the mountain, when Abraham took the “knife to kill his son,” an angel stayed his hand. God then provided a ram, caught in the thicket, that Abraham could offer up “in place of his son.” (Verses 10-13) In God’s eyes, it was as if Isaac had actually been sacrificed. (Hebrews 11:17) “Before God,” explains one scholar, “the willingness was reckoned as equal to the deed.”
Jehovah’s confidence in Abraham was vindicated. And Abraham’s confidence in Jehovah was rewarded, for God repeated and enlarged upon his covenant with Abraham, which covenant promised blessings for people of all the nations.—Verses 15-18.

In the end, God spared Abraham the sacrifice that He would not spare himself. Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac foreshadowed God’s offering of his only-begotten Son, Jesus, for our sins. (John 3:16) The sacrifice of Christ is the greatest proof of Jehovah’s love for us. Since God made such a sacrifice for us, we do well to ask ourselves, ‘What sacrifices am I willing to make in order to please God?’

July 11 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Joe cattani
Since child sacrifice is what the pagans do, not the hebrews, I have look for another message. God tested Abraham's love for him, that is true. But not the whole truth. I believe what God was really asking is "do you accept that Isaac belongs to me, and are you willing to give back to God what belongs to God? " Those days children were property. A father could sell, work I him in the fields, or even kill him. God is telling Abraham that the children belong to God, and they will be treated as such. Abrahams job as custodial parent is to care for them and teach them in the way of the Lord.

March 11 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
The answer to this question can be distilled from Genesis 22:1,12.

Genesis 22:1 says "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham...". 

It was a test on Abraham's faithfulness to God.

Abraham did pass the test. 

Genesis 22:12 says "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

God does and will often test our faith to determine the substance of our Christian standing. 

Are we ready for His tests? 

Some Christians ascribe every suffering to Satan. They are wrong. Think again.

July 11 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
I was talking to an older orthodox Jewish couple decades ago by the names of Al and Ellie. They could not understand either why God would allow such a thing, and to even compare this with God the Father planning the death of his only begotten Son this way. Well, I never convinced them, but I’ll try to explain. He (God), I believe, just wanted to test Abraham and see if he was willing to sacrifice his son to prove his love and obedience to God. That’s it. In fact, 2 of the more modern translations of the Bible back me up on this point. Here they are:

Special Messenger: Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to harm him. I know now that you respect the one True God and will be loyal to Him and follow His commands, because you were willing to give up your son, your only son, to Me.

“The angel of the Lord declared that it was Abraham’s willingness to surrender his son, not the actual killing of him, that satisfied God’s expectations for Abraham. God said explicitly, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad... for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Gen. 22:12, NASB).” --https://www.defendinginerrancy.com/bible-solutions/Genesis_22.2.php

April 01 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Dave Larsen Husband, father and grand father. Student of the Messiah.
As the text says, it was a test of Abraham's faith. GOD did not want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac; what He wanted was to know if Abraham trusted His WORD. What we are meant to learn from the interaction between GOD, Abraham, and Isaac, requires us to trust the WORD of GOD as well. 

Three times in Scripture GOD says Abraham is a prophet; twice Isaac is included (Genesis 20:6-7, Psalms 105:8-15, I Chronicles 16:15-22). Abraham’s life story is a prophecy beginning with his birth 1948 years after creation (Nation of Israel re-born 1948 AD). Isaac, the promised son, was born when Abraham was 100, meaning Isaac was born 2048 years after creation. When GOD commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac He calls Isaac Abraham's only son. Why? Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. When they get to Mt Moriah where Isaac is to be sacrificed, Isaac carries all the wood up the mountain for the sacrifice. Why not let the donkey carry the wood? Had the donkey carried the wood we would never have known Isaac was a young adult, strong enough to carry enough wood to burn an entire sacrifice. Abraham was not the only one being tested; Isaac submitted to his father's will. Both Isaac and Abraham were trusting the LORD’S promise that Abraham's seed would be reckoned through Isaac (Genesis 21:12).

If we accept Abraham and Isaac as prophets we can understand why GOD told Abraham to sacrifice his “only son”, a son born of a promise. We can see how GOD was using Abraham to play the Father and Isaac to play the Father's only begotten son. The Son the Father promised to give as covenant sacrifice for all people (Isaiah 42:6, 49:7-9). The Son who submitted to His Father even unto death (John 14:28-31).

May 09 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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