Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honor and Sacrifice of Isaac

I often see people confusing honor for morals, in part I think this is because one definition for honor is honest, another definition of honor is respect (i.e. honor your parents). The definition I use though is a complex system of standards of what is due to one's self and to others (others being society, family, or religion).

In the Bible, Genesis chapter 22, God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac. This is a test of faith and a test of honor. God was testing how strong Abraham's honor was. Abraham passed God's test. It was not a moral thing. What God asked Abraham was not moral. Morals require a father to love his son, not kill him. Abraham was put into a position where he had to chose honor (duty to God) or morals. He made the choice that honor is more important than his morals or his love for his child.

Abraham's choice was easier than many people's when it comes to honor vs morals or honor vs love. Abraham had absolute faith in God. God being God could raise the dead or do anything he wants anyways. Death is not absolute when God is involved. Abraham also trusted that God would not make him do anything evil, that even though Abraham may not see why God would ask this, it is for the greater good. This did not make his decision easy though.

Why would God ask Abraham to kill his only son when God is against child sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31, Isaiah 57:4-5)? It was a test and God had no intention of making Abraham actually go through with it. God being God would already know that Abraham has faith and would obey Gods commands right. So the test most probably was not for Abraham but instead to show future generations that Abraham would obey God above all else.

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