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Abraham's Faith?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Stancet, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Stancet

    Stancet Member

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    First off, I am a Bible believing Christian who has received Jesus, so I am not trying to question the truth of the gospel. However, I have been seriously skeptical of Abraham's testimony lately because I can't find an answer to my dilemma.

    God very plaining asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to Him. This was obviously a test, because God stopped Abraham and became convinced of Abraham's faith when he saw his obedience. However, in Deuteronomy 18:10 God forbid human sacrifices. God did not just invent this rule when he gave Moses the law because He said He doesn't change in Malachi 3:6. Jeremiah 19:5 says God doesn't even imagine child sacrifices during this time when it was common in Israel.

    I hope you understand the paradox I seem to have. Abraham was commanded by God to do something we as Christians can't, because God has revealed to us after Abraham's time that we mustn't do it (and no, please don't just reiterate that to me as your answer to my question). I've heard news stories about people who have killed their own children because they believe God told them to, but how can you prove them wrong? God has commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, even though he says we mustn't do it.

    I don't ask like my faith depends on an answer, but I have been trying to listen for God's voice for a while and I'm afraid I might have misinterpreted my own feelings to make reckless decisions in the past, and now my confidence in listening is starting to be put on the line. Any helpful (and hopefully brief) explanation would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. Serving Zion

    Serving Zion Seek First His Kingdom & Righteousness

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    God did not desire for the child's death, He desired for Abraham's undivided commitment and obedience by requiring him to give up the most precious thing he had. This is why He stopped the sacrifice before it happened, because it had already been found in Abraham's heart that he had met the requirement.

    On the other hand, Jesus had to prove that He was willing to give His own life for the sake of sinners, and that could not be found until death actually had come to pass (remember the temptation in Matthew 27:40).
     
  3. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    Well the Binding of Isaac occurred before Deuteronomy. Basically there were many pagan religions around that area at the time that demanded the sacrifice of children, and God was showing Abraham that He was different as He didn't actually demand the sacrifice. Later on He just made it more clear.
     
  4. Tigger45

    Tigger45 “Be still and know that I am God.” Supporter

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    I think a better understanding of the lesson taught by this scripture story was not what God was asking Abraham to do specifically but to what degree this sacrifice ment to Abraham. Let's face it God is omniscient and knew Abraham would follow through with the task but Abraham and us for that matter would 'like' to believe a lot of things about our selves but deep down 'we/he' dont/didn't really claim it until we/he try/ied to actually follow through.
     
  5. Stancet

    Stancet Member

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    I have never felt God asking me to do something nearly as bad as sacrificing Isaac, but I am trying to understand the nature with which God tells us or demands of us these requests of faith.
     
  6. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Triangulating THE WAY out of the void! Supporter

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    Hi Stancet,

    Brother, don't let this passage throw you. Just patiently step back for a moment and envision the entire context surrounding the command by God given to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. That context includes the fact that there was something special about Isaac, something not common to other sons--that he was a miracle child given in the light of a covenant which God made with Abraham. That context also includes the fact that, ultimately, God NEVER allowed Abraham to follow through with the command. In fact, the context also shows us that God provided a replacement for the sacrifice of Isaac-- a ram.

    So, what connections can be briefly made here?: 1) the whole of events surrounding Isaac are together a special case of providential exceptions to the norm, 2) God provides to us an archetypal demonstration through Isaac of what He 'actually' did through His own Son, Jesus Christ, who was also a miracle child, and who was given in the advent of another covenant between God and man.

    Hope this micro-hermeneutical tip is helpful, Stancet.

    Peace,
    2PhiloVoid
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  7. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Senior Member

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    This is a tough one, on many levels.

    If God forbade child sacrifice, God was technically asking Abraham to break one of His commandments. So, did Abraham really do the right thing?
    or
    Did Abraham know that God would not allow him to go through with it?
    or
    Was Abraham's faith in God so strong that he was willing to accept any outcome?

    I've thought about this often.

    Did God promise He would never ask for this sacrifice again? I have wondered if God would ask this of one of us.

    As you pointed out, how could you prove someone wrong; if they sacrificed their child, because they believed God told them to do it?

    In Judges Chapter 11, Jephtah sacrificed his daughter to God, because of a vow he made. This was a human sacrifice that God did not stop. The Jewish people lament the sacrifice of the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, through a number of rituals, yearly.

    Was this human sacrifice to the God?
    Numbers 31: 25 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 ‘You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the ancestral houses of the congregation make an inventory of the booty captured, both human and animal. 27 Divide the booty into two parts, between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. 28 From the share of the warriors who went out to battle, set aside as tribute for the Lord one item out of every five hundred, whether persons, oxen, donkeys, sheep, or goats. 29 Take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord.

    Leviticus 27: 26 A firstling of animals, however, which as a firstling belongs to the Lord, cannot be consecrated by anyone; whether ox or sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27 If it is an unclean animal, it shall be ransomed at its assessment, with one-fifth added; if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at its assessment.

    28 Nothing that a person owns that has been devoted to destruction for the Lord, be it human or animal, or inherited land-holding, may be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord. 29 No human beings who have been devoted to destruction can be ransomed; they shall be put to death.

    Human beings "devoted to destruction" could not be ransomed. Was this human sacrifice?

    I'm so sorry that I do not have any answers for your dilemma. These things have disturbed me for a long time.
     
  8. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Why do you call YHWH'S DIRECT INSTRUCTION "bad"? Clearly nothing YHWH Instructs is sin , nor wrong, nor bad, nor to be avoided,
    but rather to be directly and without any doubt obeyed and rightly so, as YHWH says.
     
  9. Ron Gurley

    Ron Gurley What U See is What U Get!

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    IMO: The story of the Abraham/Isaac "almost" sacrifice is an OT "Type of Christ".

    Abraham ~= God the Father
    Isaac ~= God the Son

    SEE: A STUDY OF TYPES

    The birth of Isaac was promised repeatedly; so was the coming of Jesus Christ. Isaac was the only and dearly beloved son of his father; Jesus Christ is the only-begotten and beloved Son of God, in whom His Father is well pleased. Isaac was obedient to his father, and was willing, out of obedience, to give up his life, letting himself be bound, and waiting patiently for his death-stroke; Jesus Christ was obedient to His Heavenly Father, unto death, even unto the death of the Cross. “As a sheep He was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb without a voice before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth.” Isaac himself carried up the mountain the wood on which he was to be slaughtered; Jesus Christ carried up to Calvary the Cross on which He was to die.

    REF:
    Types of Christ in the Old Testament

    The COVENANT of God with Abraham.
    Genesis 15:1 – 15:21

    REF:
    God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:1 – 15:21) – Bible Blender

    Genesis 17 (NASB)
    Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision.

    God's Covenant With Abraham
    In making a covenant with Abraham, God promised to bless his descendants and make them His own special people -- in return, Abraham was to remain faithful to God and to serve as a channel through which God's blessings could flow to the rest of the world (Gen. 12:1-3).

    Abraham's story begins with his passage with the rest of his family from Ur of the Chaldeans in ancient southern Babylonia (Gen. 11:31). He and his family moved north along the trade routes of the ancient world and settled in the prosperous trade center of Haran, several hundred miles to the northwest.

    While living in Haran, at the age of 75, Abraham received a call from God to go to a strange, unknown land that God would show him. The Lord promised Abraham that He would make him and his descendants a great nation (Gen. 12:1-3). The promise must have seemed unbelievable to Abraham because his wife Sarah was childless (Gen. 11:30-31; 17:15). Abraham obeyed God with no hint of doubt or disbelief.

    Abraham took his wife and his nephew, Lot, and went toward the land that God would show him. Abraham moved south along the trade routes from Haran, through Shechem and Bethel, to the land of Canaan. Canaan was a populated area at the time, inhabited by the war-like Canaanites; so, Abraham's belief that God would ultimately give this land to him and his descendants was an act of faith.

    The circumstances seemed quite difficult, but Abraham's faith in God's promises allowed him to trust in the Lord. In Genesis 15, the Lord reaffirmed His promise to Abraham. The relationship between God and Abraham should be understood as a covenant relationship -- the most common form of arrangement between individuals in the ancient world. In this case, Abraham agreed to go to the land that God would show him (an act of faith on his part), and God agreed to make Abraham a great nation (Gen. 12:1-3).

    In Genesis 15 Abraham became anxious about the promise of a nation being found in his descendants because of his advanced age -- and the Lord then reaffirmed the earlier covenant. A common practice of that time among heirless families was to adopt a slave who would inherit the master's goods. Therefore, because Abraham was childless, he proposed to make a slave, Eliezer of Damascus, his heir (Gen. 15:2). But God rejected this action and challenged Abraham's faith: "'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be'" (Gen. 15:5).

    Abraham's response is the model of believing faith: "And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness" (Gen. 15:6). The rest of Genesis 15 consists of a ceremony between Abraham and God that was commonly used in the ancient world to formalize a covenant (Gen. 15:7-21). God repeated this covenant to Abraham' son, Isaac (Gen. 17:19). Stephen summarized the story in the book of Acts 7:1-8.

    REF:
    Five Great Bible Covenants (Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Christ)
     
  10. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    The story of the Binding of Isaac happened in Genesis 22 and in the beginning of Genesis 23 Sarah died at the age of 127. Isaac was born when she was 90 and Abraham was 100, which means that at the Binding of Isaac, he was 37 and Abraham was 137. The same term used to describe Isaac was used to describe Joshua when he was in his 40's. So is one who is old enough to carry the wood for the offering be young enough to be docile and can one who is 137 bind one is who 37 against their will? If Isaac could have resisted and didn't, then it follows is that he was a willing participant and perhaps believed along with Abraham that God was able to raise him up even from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19). You can take it for what it's worth, but according to Jewish tradition, Isaac was a will participant and asked to be bound so that he would not move and cause the offering to be invalid, so it was also a story about the faith of Isaac.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  11. Stancet

    Stancet Member

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    I know, and I can appreciate everything you are saying. But going back to my original post, when a crazy person does something drastic like killing their children and saying God told them to do it, how would you prove them guilty or prove them innocent? Not to be intentionally disagreeable, but news stories such as that have been on my mind lately.
     
  12. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Which Justice would you use, YHWH'S or man's ?
    In YHWH'S Justice , He is clear what to do, no wavering.

    Man's 'Justice' is a very sad state of affairs.(and very, very unrighteous and very very wrong).

    Re crzy person is this what you referred to
    From the OP>
    Simple, for anyone who accepts YHWH'S WORD , "God's Justice", as His Word , TORAH, is Perfect, and in Him is no flaw at all.
    Go back to, Return to, YHWH'S WAY, as He Says, as He Instructs,
    and there is Perfect Justice and Righteousness,
    "LIGHT" leading to eternal life,
    "LIGHT" that came into the world,
    "LIGHT" that the world hates, because its deeds are evil.....
     
  13. Ron Gurley

    Ron Gurley What U See is What U Get!

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    RESPONSE TO POST #11: Q1:.."when a crazy person does something drastic like killing their children and saying God told them to do it, how would you prove them guilty or prove them innocent?"..."

    A1: In a USA court of criminal justice: NEITHER. They are just "crazy"...incapable of criminal INTENT!

    Matthew 15:19
    For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.

    Abraham throughout his ministry TRUSTED God on His "word" and ACTED out of spirit-led FAITH/BELIEF..

    Genesis 15:6
    Then he (Abraham) BELIEVED (spiRit-led FAITH) in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

    Psalm 106:31
    And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, To all generations forever.

    Galatians 3:6
    Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

    James 2:23
    and the Scripture was fulfilled which says,
    “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,”
    and he was called the friend of God.
     
  14. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Perhaps -
    What specifically, in Abrahams life,
    what in Scripture, about Abraham,
    shows specifically "spirit-led" ?
     
  15. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    The dilemma is of the flesh, or of the world, carnal, or of man's way of thinking, worldly.

    All those who deny God's Word have the same dilemma willingly or unwillingly (or wittingly or unwittingly).

    Many deny God's Word purposefully - they hate the LIGHT Who Came into the world, and love the darkness (yes, with their heart and mind they love the darkness instead of the LIGHT)
    because their lives are evil and wicked, and they don't want anyone to know it, or they revel in the wickedness and are proud of it and don't care who knows - they just brag about it and claim it is the way to live a full life and try to get everyone else to follow their way or they reject them/ persecute them/ exterminate them....

    God's Word is Perfect in and of Himself - no worries, no doubts, no contradictions.

    Only it is opposed to man's way of thinking, and to trust God is to not trust (nor love nor seek) the world, nor the things(ways either) of the world.
     
  16. Copperhead

    Copperhead Newbie Supporter

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    I believe it was really a simple deal for Abraham. God had already promised that from his line would come a great nation. Abraham was over 100 years old. The pure faith in God that Abraham had, I think, led him to this conclusion... "well, God, you promised, so if you want this, you will have to resurrect Isaac afterwards. Either way, you made a promise and you will keep it".

    I am convinced that Abraham thought much deeper into this and realized he was actually acting out prophecy. He stated on the way up the hill, when Isaac asked about where is the lamb for the sacrifice, that God would provide it. And later afterwards, he stated that on the mount, God would provide His salvation by sacrificing His own son by calling the place "the Lord will provide". And I am convinced that on that very same spot, is where Jesus was nailed to the cross.

    I don't think the issue was nearly as barbaric as we imagine. And while obedience to God is in view, I am convinced that it was more about trust in God that He would not fail in keeping His promises. It was acting out prophesy dramatically. The faith of Abraham was that God would keep His promises. To rely on that.

    Our God is one who delights in making and keeping His promises. His character is on the line. Trust in that is what God wants. This is what Abraham's example shows us.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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