God says to kill your kid…just kidding!

Genesis 22

Then God said: Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you. (Genesis 22:2)

When Abraham gets to the desired location, he ties up Isaac and puts him on top of a wooden altar. Just as Abraham was about to plunge a knife into Isaac, an angel came and told him to stop, because now God knows that Abraham really fears God. Then a ram appears, and Abraham and Isaac sacrifice it. Again an angel appears and reiterates God’s promise to give Abraham many descendants.

Commentary:
This is another story that left me in a very “what the fuck?” state. God, who Abraham has been a faithful servant of for his entire life of over 100 years, decides that now is a good time to test his faith. And that the best way to do that would be by asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, whom God promised would be the one from which a great nation would descend. Does Abraham’s willingness to go along with this show that he understands that God would not go back on his word, or that Abraham is so committed to God that he would sacrifice his favored son.

What I think is more important though, is what the hell is wrong with God? This is a disgusting request to ask of someone, and then to make it just a test is cruelty added. Abraham’s willingness to go along is something between commitment and insanity. I understand that this is God, but to blindly go along with such a request is bordering on insanity. Abraham does not even second guess God, doesn’t ask him, “are you sure?” He just accepts it, doesn’t think twice.

What is the purpose of this sequence of events? Abraham has shown his commitment to God many times over so far. It seems that perhaps this is more for God than for Abraham, seeing as God is the one doing the testing. Is God feeling insecure? Is he just in the mood to play a cruel joke? Or is he just wanting to see how far Abraham is willing to go? I’m having trouble understanding God and Abraham.

Lessons I Learned:

  • God tests his followers in the most cruel of ways.
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5 responses to “God says to kill your kid…just kidding!

  • Chucky

    You should probably get a good commentary which will at least provide you with some of the background.

    One of them that child sacrifice is accepted among the people living around Abraham, and in doing this, God is setting himself apart from them. In contrast to those around, in Israel child sacrifice is outlawed, which you’ll come to when you start reading the laws.

    Also, in more similar to what you’ll read later, it is God himself provides the sacrifice, not us.

  • skepticole

    I’ve never heard the claim that child sacrifice was acceptable during this time. Can you point me to a source for this information?

    If God did not want children to be sacrificed to him, wouldn’t it had been better for him to say this outright to Abraham, instead of apparently changing his mind?

  • Chucky

    Meet Moloch…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch

    > If God did not want children to be sacrificed to him, wouldn’t it had been better for him to say this outright to Abraham, instead of apparently changing his mind?

    He does command this outright, although admittedly not to Abraham (or at least if he did I forgot about it), read on!

    • skepticole

      Cool, thanks for the link! Good read.

      That he doesn’t command this to Abraham is the point I was making. I can’t make comment on the laws that are given in future chapters.

  • Morning Bible Study – Genesis 22 | An Atheist Human

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