God tested Abraham by calling to him, "Abraham."
So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, took two of his young servants and Isaac his son, cut wood for the burnt offering, and rose up and went to the place where God had told him to go. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go over there to worship. Then we will come back to you."
When they arrived at the place which God had spoken of, Abraham built an altar. He stacked the wood in order, tied up his son Isaac, and placed him on the altar over the wood. Then Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!"
Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named that place "Jehovah Jireh", as it is still said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be seen."
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time, and said,
Then Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba, where Abraham lived.
From the ancient Hebrew text (B'Reshith) known to us as the Book of Genesis (Chapter 22), as paraphrased by BrRon.
COMMENTS on Abraham's Test of Faith
What was Abraham thinking when he did this? Two thousand years later this explanation was written by a follower of Jesus in the Letter to the Hebrew Christians (Chapter 11:17-19):
This is verified in the story: note that Abraham told his servants "Wait here and WE will return to you." He either was glossing over the fact that he would kill his son and return alone (lying) or he did believe that God would resurrect his son. He was right in thinking that God could raise the dead, but did not know that God would instead stop the sacrifice at the last minute instead.
The brother of Jesus, James, used this story about Abraham's great faith when he answered people who thought they could say they believed in God but did not need to act on their beliefs (James, Chapter 2:20-24):
In other words, what good is it to believe something is right if we don't bother to do it?
There was never another case in the Bible where God asked a man to sacrifice his son, although God sacrificed His own son, Jesus, providing a way for us to obtain eternal life:For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
We are not asked to sacrifice our children as Abraham was, but followers of Jesus are encouraged to live our lives for God. The Apostle Paul wrote:
What parts of our lives are we willing to place before the Lord, to let Him change?
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