Why did God not allow Abraham to kill Isaac?

Genesis 22:1-18

I know this sounds like a pretty twisted question (lol), but God had the power to raise Isaac back from the dead (as did many of God's prophets after Abraham), so why did He not let Abraham go ahead?


How come, it seems, that God asks Christians to do things, which means testing our faith & ultimately could mean loosing our life (through commandments/violent persecution etc)...and yet God seemed to make an exception with Isaac & Abraham? I don't mean to sound funny here...it's just a thought...

27 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    This is a really good question. Really makes you think for longer than a moment or two. It is true that the entire scenario served to illustrate what God himself would do: obviously Abraham pictured God, Isaac pictured Jesus and the ram caught in the thicket pictured the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

    Not only was Abraham's faith being tested, Isaac's was being tested too. And both displayed exemplary faith. But suppose God allowed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and he then subsequently resurrected Isaac from the dead? How would that be looked upon by Sarah, by the rest of Abraham's household? Even if they never learned of it, all the angels were watching and they would know. How would that look to them? What would they think of God? They certainly could understand the test. After all, they themselves had witnessed the apostasy of several of their own brothers (who forsook their proper heavenly dwelling place to cohabitate with women). But really, what would be the point in sacrificing a human? Certainly it would not provide a propitiatory sacrifice (humans are imperfect). True, God had resurrected a few people using prophets to carry it out. But this was a very rare thing, certainly not something to be counted on. Moreover, if God had resurrected Isaac and it became known, how would that affect people in the future? Would they not expect divine intervention when tested? Perhaps they would say to themselves "God resurrected Isaac. I can do this. God's got my back. He'll resurrect me too." And that of course, is no test at all.

    Which brings us to . . . .us. We would, of course, have read the inspired record of Isaac's resurrection if one had taken place, yes? Romans say that all things written aforetime were written for our instruction. Why? "That through our endurance and the comfort from the scriptures, we might have hope." Romans 15:4. But if we are delivered by divine intervention, where is the endurance? How shall we learn endurance if there is not much to endure? And what shall Satan say who taunts Jehovah God all the time? Shall he not say the same of us as he did of Job? Shall he not say: "Well, the only reason they try to endure is because they know you are going to intervene. Every time I turn around, you are protecting them from everything. Let me at them. I will turn them away from you." It is even as Christ said" Satan has demanded to have you men to sift you as wheat." Luke 22:31. And then what does our Lord Jesus say? "But I have made supplication for you that your faith may not give out." He did not ask for divine intervention to protect us, deliver us or resurrect us. He supplicated his Father so that our faith would not give out!

    In the final analysis then, God did not allow Isaac to die and subsequently resurrect him for the reasons above and for the same reason that He did not protect Job. In the case of Abraham, it was a test of his faith. For us, more is involved. It is a case of where we stand on the issue of universal sovereignty. Ours is the opportunity to show where we stand. In order to do this, our faith must be tested to the limit. That cannot happen with divine intervention.

    Hope this helps you, Paul.

    Hannah J Paul

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    Why did God not allow Abraham to kill Isaac?

    Genesis 22:1-18

    I know this sounds like a pretty twisted question (lol), but God had the power to raise Isaac back from the dead (as did many of God's prophets after Abraham), so why did He not let Abraham go ahead?

    Source(s): god abraham kill isaac: https://biturl.im/BpVFx
  • Suzy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Very good question as many people don't understand this.

    God had already told Abraham that from Isaac would come a great nation. So, if he died that would not have happened. God was the one that told Abraham to kill Isaac. That was a test of Abraham's faith in God. He passed with flying colors as he had Isaac ready as a burnt offering and then a ram showed up. Jehovah God would not allow it to happen.

    This is something that is taken out of context all the time. To look at it with discernment is what's needed here to get the point of it. The point is: Abraham was faithful to God and was willing to do whatever He told him to do. We are to be the same today. Not easy I know, but look how Abraham and even Job was tested. We have other things in our lives today that test our faith. May we all be so faithful as the men of old were to Jah.

  • 1 decade ago

    Also, what we have to remember is that Isaac himself was willing to be killed by his father. He would have also helped Abraham to carry the wood to build the alter. Isaac was a young man, maybe about 25 years old. He would have been strong enough to not only carry lots of wood but also to resist. He let his father bind him up.

    It is also interesting to note that an Angel stopped Abraham from dealing the death blow...so to speak. Almost like the angel took hold of Abrahams hand.

    Abraham and Isaac believed that Jehovah could raise the dead. They had proven faithful. In the end they sacrificed a ram caught in the mountain thicket.

    And then Jehovah repeated and enlarged on his covenant with Abraham. From Abraham and then from Isaac the promised Messiah would arise in the future. That Messiah was Jesus.

    Jesus was the greater Isaac, in that he willing gave his life as a sacrifice for mankind. The Lamb of God.

    So God did not allow Abraham to kill Isaac so the promised Messiah would eventually come from his family line, as promised by Jehovah.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because Isaac's death was not the test. It was Abraham's willingness to sacrifice him that was. Once he put complete faith in Jehovah God and proved his willingness to put his son to death, there was no need for him to actually go through with it.


    To answer the last part of your question ...

    In Abraham's case, it was because Isaac was the child of promise. Jehovah God had promised Abraham that all nations of the earth would bless themselves by means of his seed.

  • 1 decade ago

    Jehovah wasn't looking for a power trip he was seeking Abraham's obedience and loyalty to him.Abraham had a formal animal sacrifice covenant with Jehovah long before the request from Jehovah . His line would be blessed and the messiah would be from his line .His off spring would become a multitude .He was Jehovah's friend as his forefather's Shem and Noah were also.

  • 1 decade ago

    The lesson to be learned is that God did NOT accept this human sacrifice. Many cultures practiced human sacrifice in Biblical times. This was God's way of teaching His people that human sacrifice is an ABOMINATION! Others were allowed to continue such atrocities, but NOT the Israelites!

    The Israelites were to be a light unto the nations in order to be an example of a moral/ethical community.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not needed. God was testing Abraham's faith. He got His answer. Also, the lineage of the Jewish people came through Isaac.

  • 1 decade ago

    Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying In thee shall all nations be blessed.

    The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Abraham was on earth long before Jesus, and this gospel was shown to him through events in his life.

    Abraham was going to sacrifice his son out of obedience to God. When he raised his blade to do so, the angel stopped him...and he saw the ram caught in the thicket. It was showing him that a sacrifice would be provided by God.

    I would encourage you to listen to a message preached by a man named Buster Seaton. It is entitled The gospel preached to Abraham (you can find this through google). This message will be able to explain how the entire gospel was preached to Abraham.

  • 1 decade ago

    It was a test of faith. Isaac was promised and was to become a great nation. Isaac also pictured Jesus, the greater Isaac and Jehovah the greater Abraham. This was a foreshadow of Jesus's ransom sacrifice. Complete trust and faith on both their parts.

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