Was Isaac traumatized by being a sacrifice?

BibleAsk Team

Automatic Transcript Generated:

Speaker 1

So Athena is asking I’m trying to believe God is an all loving God, but I struggle with the story of Abraham and Isaac. Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? Yes, he sent in the calf at the last minute, but can you imagine isaac might us have been traumatized if we did that? It would rightfully be called child abuse, but if God does it, that’s okay.

Speaker 2

All right. I absolutely appreciate this question. It’s something that I definitely struggle with for a long time because I remember as a little kid or as a younger child watching the Bible story cartoons, and they showed the story of Isaac and Abraham, and right before Abraham’s about to slay him. And Isaac’s eyes filled with tears and I mean, oh, it just broke my heart. And when I thought about that story, especially now as a mom, it is a really serious story and a very sad story. But I don’t think God was being abusive in his nature. And here’s why. First of all, I think the point of what God was saying to Abraham was it was to be an example without fulfillment of it, because only Jesus would fulfill this. Basically the symbol of God sending his son as a sacrifice for our sins, like we see in John 316, for God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. So Isaac was supposed to be a symbol in a sense of what Jesus would do because Isaac didn’t fight back.

Speaker 2

Isaac was willing. And I just think that’s such a beautiful thing, that Abraham was fully surrendered as far as to the will of God. And Isaac was fully surrendered to whatever God’s will he was willing to do, whether it was to lay down his life or what have you. Now was God saying, kill your child? No, absolutely not. And we see that because, yes, God did send a ram in the story. But here’s the verse I want to leave you with, because I think this is the most important thing that shows God was in no way intending to ever have any harm done to Isaac. It was simply a test for Abraham to take God at his word. And I believe that God only gave this test to Abraham when he knew that Abraham would do it in the right way with the right motive. And you see this in the Book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, verse 17. And absolutely this blew my mind when I read this because it made a thousand times more sense to me. I was like, why would God make such a terrible test like that’s? Horrible? Yeah. That would traumatize me as a parent.

Speaker 2

It would traumatize my kid. I was thinking like, this is kind of not cool, but when you look at Hebrews 1117, I think this will help either clear your picture of the character of God that he’s not evil, but he’s actually very good. So like I said, Hebrews 1117 says, by faith. This is the hall of faith. So talking about Abraham by faith, abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, in Isaac, your seed shall be called. Concluding in verse 19. This is the key, concluding that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. Basically what I see when I read this is that Abraham, God had already told Abraham, in your seed you’ll receive a child of promise and I will make you a great nation. God had promised that to Abraham. So if Abraham had only one son, basically if God for whatever reason, had him go through with the slaying of his son, abraham knew by faith that God was going to raise him up from the dead very quickly.

Speaker 2

It wasn’t like he was thinking, I’m going to kill my son and he’s just going to be dead. And this is just the end of the story. Abraham was saying, no, by faith, I’m willing to give God whatever it is he asks of me. And in that, we see God’s character of his love that you kind of see way back in the Garden of Eden in Genesis, chapter three, right after the fall of man. And Genesis three, verses 15. And I’ll just read that really quick and I’ll close at this thought. So it’s just basically a picture of God and his promise that he gave to mankind at the beginning of the world. And so here we see God saying, I will put enmity between you being the serpent and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel. Basically, it was a prophecy of the sacrifice that Jesus would make, that Jesus would destroy the devil, but in the process of destroying the devil, the devil would hurt him physically. And so it was just to point to a picture of what God did for us and for us to get a picture of.

Speaker 2

I used to think about like, oh, that’s nice. Jesus died for me. He loves me. But when you really think about it, like, imagine putting yourself through what God went through and giving up His Son completely for our salvation. It’s supposed to get your attention. It’s supposed to bring you to a place where you go, wow, like, this is an intense love of God for us that he would rather give up his son than lose us forever. And so we have to just see it for what it is as far as a teaching tool. And obviously, like you said, he didn’t ever want Abraham to go through with it. There’s other verse I think of it in the book of Ezekiel to look it up later, but basically it’s talking about where God’s people started sacrificing their children to the false God molec. And it says, you caused your children to pass through the fire. He’s like, I never told you to do that. It never even came into my mind is what God says. God doesn’t ever want us to sacrifice our children physically. He never wants us to die. It was simply a test for Abraham and a teaching tool for all of God’s people to really think about what God did for us in providing us access to salvation through his son Jesus.

Speaker 2

And I think that when we look at the story, we should see the beautiful, giving heart of our Lord and our God because he went through with that complete sacrifice. And his son Jesus also was willing to die as our Creator and our Redeemer. So I hope that helps your picture of God a little bit more in this story. Do you have any other thoughts on that one?

Speaker 3

No, that’s good. Honestly, that was beautiful. I was like, wow, I’m so glad you answered that one.

Speaker 2

I was like, as a mom, I think this is for me. And again, I think the Hebrews chapter 1117 through 19 really helps us see a better picture of what it was that God was trying to teach us. Again.

For the full episode:

Share this video with a friend:


More Answers: