Abraham showed that he really trusted God
1A long time later, God tested Abraham. God wanted to see if Abraham trusted him properly, and if Abraham would do anything God told him to do.
God called out, “Abraham.”
And Abraham said, “Yes, God, I am listening to you.”
2Then God said, “I know that you love your son, Isaac, and he is your only son, but I want you to take him to the country called Moriah, to one of the mountains that I will show you. I want you to kill Isaac for me, and burn his body on a table made of stones, to show me that you respect me.”#2 Chronicles 3:1
3Abraham listened to God, so the next morning, Abraham chopped up some wood for the fire and tied the wood on to his donkey. Then, he got Isaac and 2 of his work-men, and they all started to go to the place God told him about.
4They walked for nearly 3 days, then Abraham looked up and saw the place God told him about. It was still a long way ahead of them. 5Abraham said to his work-men, “I want you to stay here with the donkey. And me and Isaac, we will go over there to show respect to God. After we do that, we will come back to you.”
6Abraham put the wood on to Isaac’s back for him to carry, and Abraham carried some fire and his knife.
As they walked along, 7Isaac said, “Dad.”
Abraham said, “Yes, son?”
And Isaac said, “We’ve got the wood, and the fire, but where is the sheep that we are going to burn to show respect to God?”
8Abraham said, “Son, God will give us the sheep, so that we can show him respect.” And they kept on walking together.
9Then they got to the place that God told Abraham about, and Abraham piled up some stones to make a table with a flat top, and he put the wood on top of it. Then he tied Isaac’s hands and feet together, and he put him on top of the wood.#Hebrews 11:17-19; James 2:21 10Then Abraham picked up his sharp knife, and he was just about to kill Isaac, 11but God’s angel messenger called out to him from heaven. He said, “Abraham, Abraham.”
Abraham stopped, and he said, “Yes?”
12The angel said, “Don’t kill that boy. Don’t hurt him in any way. Now I know that you respect God so much that you will do anything he tells you to do. You will even kill your only son for God.”
13Then Abraham looked behind him, and he saw a male sheep with its head stuck in a little tree. He quickly took Isaac off the wood and untied the ropes from him. Then Abraham grabbed that sheep, and he killed it instead of his son, and he burned it on that stone table, to show respect to God.
14And Abraham called that place, God will give you what you need. Even today, people say, “On God’s mountain, he will give you what you need.”
15Then God’s angel messenger called out again from heaven to Abraham. 16He said, “This is what God wants to tell you Abraham. He says, ‘You listened to me, and you were ready to give me your only son. So now I’m making this really strong promise to you. You can know that I will keep this promise, because I am God. 17I will do really good things for you. And I will give you a really big family. You see, lots of people will be born into your son’s family later on, and they will become a really big mob of people. There will be lots and lots of them, just like there are lots of stars in the sky, and lots of little bits of sand at the beaches beside the sea. And when other nations get up to fight against them, your family will win, and they will take the towns from those other nations.#Hebrews 11:12 18And I will use your family to do good things for all the nations in the world. I will do all this because you listened to me, and you did what I told you to do.’ ”#Acts 3:25
19Then Abraham and Isaac walked back to the place where Abraham’s work-men were waiting with the donkey, then they all went back to their camp at Beersheba.
Abraham and all his people camped there for a long time.
(We have not yet translated the rest of Genesis, or the books called Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Some of the stories in those books tell us these things.
– Sarah died when she was 127 years old.
– Abraham died when he was 175 years old.
– Isaac had a son called Jacob.
– Jacob had 12 sons.
– God gave Jacob another name. He called him Israel.
– God took Jacob and his family to live in Egypt.
– They lived in Egypt for about 400 years, and became the nation called Israel. The families that came from his 12 sons became the 12 tribes in the Israel nation.
– Then God got an Israel man, called Moses, to take the Israel nation out of Egypt, into desert country, and God gave Moses his law for those people.
– After that, God gave them the country called Canaan. Today we call that country Israel. Sometimes we call the Israel people the Jewish people, or just the Jews.)
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Abraham’s Faith Tested
1Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.
“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”
2“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
3The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. 4On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
6So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”
8“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
9When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
12“Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
13Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. 16“This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants#22:17 Hebrew seed; also in 22:17b, 18. beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. 18And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
19Then they returned to the servants and traveled back to Beersheba, where Abraham continued to live.
20Soon after this, Abraham heard that Milcah, his brother Nahor’s wife, had borne Nahor eight sons. 21The oldest was named Uz, the next oldest was Buz, followed by Kemuel (the ancestor of the Arameans), 22Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23(Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) In addition to these eight sons from Milcah, 24Nahor had four other children from his concubine Reumah. Their names were Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
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