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Isaac’s faith

Abraham’s faith was tested many times.  The first test that we are told about came when God told him to leave his home in Ur and go to an unknown land.  (It is likely that he faced tests while he was still living in Ur.  If his faith hadn’t previously been strengthened by exercise he wouldn’t have been willing to leave his home at God’s command.)  When he entered the new land God told him he would become the father of many nations and he continued to believe this promise even though it was 25 years before Isaac was born.

His greatest test came after Isaac was born.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Genesis 22:1-3

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Your only son

God tested Abraham.

God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Genesis 22:1-3

Abraham obeyed but God stopped him from carrying out the sacrifice.

Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Genesis 22:10-13

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The sons of Abraham

Moses was a descendant of Abraham.  He gave the world the Torah, which he said was based on revelations given to him by God.  Judaism is based on the teachings contained in this book.

Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham.  He gave the world the Koran, which he said was based on revelations given to him by God.  Islam is based on the teachings contained in this book.

The similarities between these two aren’t just a coincidence.

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Sacrificing Ishmael

Everyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Most don’t realize that before this Abraham had been commanded to sacrifice his other son, Ishmael.

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It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth, in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear! -Anthony de Mello

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