This week, I was dwelling on God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac after watching one of those television shows that distorts biblical history to align it with the agenda of the producers when the very subject was the basis of the Sunday morning sermon.
The object of the television program was to prove that God was and is the same as other gods as demonstrated in his command to Abraham to offer his firstborn. The premise was that child sacrifice was the custom of the period. Given the religious practices of the period, it is not hard to understand why Abraham thought that God was serious in taking away the son He had promised. After all, it was standard practice. Ancient people routinely killed their young to appease the gods for whatever went wrong; sickness, natural catastrophes, wars and other calamities that befell them. Therefore, the God of Abraham had to be like these other gods in demanding human sacrifice.
Today, the world is replete with those committing terrible, atrocious acts in the name of their gods. In this country, thousands of children are killed daily in honor of the god of this world, people are abused and poverty is not only permitted, the very policies that claim to be there to alleviate it only promote its continuation.
But as was pointed out in the message on Sunday, God never intended Abraham to sacrifice his son. In fact, God was demonstrating to his servant that He was different from other gods and the Bible is the story of how He has provided the sacrifice to reunite Himself with his creation.
Abraham went up the mountain with Isaac thinking he was about to worship his God as others worshipped their gods. He returned knowing that his God was different.