In Genesis 22, God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Although in the end Abraham did not have to sacrifice Isaac, it still raises questions: why did God make the command in the first place? The answer to this question appears if we stand back to look at the bigger picture.
- Child sacrifice was a serious offence to God – it was forbidden under penalty of death (Leviticus 20:2)
- Jesus loved children – for example Mark 10:13-16
- So why did God command it?
- v1 says that God “tested” Abraham
- Testing is an exercise in trust. v5 and v8 suggest that Abraham thought he was going to come back with Isaac and that God would provide a sacrifice.
- In v12 the angel says “Now I know you fear the Lord” – there’s often a difference between knowing something intellectually, and knowing it so that it makes a difference.
- The quote is taken from C.S. Lewis’ book A Grief Observed
- In v13-14 we see that God himself does provide. What’s the big picture?
- v2 says that Abraham was going to the region of “Moriah” – only found in one other place in the Bible (2 Chron 3:1) – where the temple was built. God is giving is a picture.
- Who did provide their only loved son as a sacrifice? – God!
- Genesis 22 is a lesson for us, that God’s blessings come through sacrifice – but that God himself provides the sacrifice.
- Why was it right for God to sacrifice Jesus? – John 10:17-18. Jesus laid down his life – it wasn’t like human beings sacrificing an innocent child!
The video that provoked this question was about understanding violence in the Old Testament.
Your questions answered
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