Gen 9:6 and Abraham and Isaac

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RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello All,

I ran a few searches and didn't notice if this question was asked before so here it goes. I was in a discussion with a group of believers and somebody asked this question. "Was it immoral for God to ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac considering Gen 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."?

I wasn't able to think of a completely satisfactory answer to this question and I am curious to know what others think. How would you respond to this question? The most plausible we came up with was that God never intended Abraham to kill his son, and the confidence of Abraham indicated that he knew God would somehow provide a lamb (Gen 22:28). But the issue remained that God commanded Abraham to do something contrary what he commanded in Gen 9:6. One approach was the difference between murder and killing utilizing other passages after this event. But is that acceptable? if you do that God forbids human sacrifice (Duet 12:31).

What are your thoughts?

Blessings,

Rob
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
What man is there to whose judgment God owes an answer?

Certainly true but most of the time he does provide us an answer. I just want to be clear, I am not accusing God of sinning but I am trying obtain the best answer with the data he has given.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Certainly true but most of the time he does provide us an answer. I just want to be clear, I am not accusing God of sinning but I am trying obtain the best answer with the data he has given.
I understand. The problem with these kinds of questions, though, is that they—to use C. S. Lewis’ phrase—“put God in the docket” to be judged my human judgment, for man to determine if God was right in doing something. This is not good. Whatever our God commands, orders, directs, guides, decrees, etc., is right by default and by definition. That is to be our presupposition in all inquiries. My point in asking the question above is to show that the original question is illegitimate. We ought not to ask, “Was God right in doing this?” Instead, we ought to ask, “Since God was right in doing this, what might we therefore conclude from it, if anything?”
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
My take: You aren't looking closely enough at the text in Genesis 22 if you think God told Abraham to commit murder. Not all killing is murder, and the text says nothing about murder. Rather, the text repeatedly says Isaac is to be a burnt offering—that is, an offering for sin.

God has every right to demand this death. The wages of sin is death. Of course, the rest of the Bible will go on to show that it was never God's intent for Isaac to pay for sin, nor was Isaac the sort of perfect sacrifice necessary to accomplish that payment. The role of being our sacrifice for sin goes instead to Christ. He is the Lamb that God ultimately provided, and the One who called out to Abraham and intervened on Isaac's behalf. It is appropriate, then, that the sacrificial system that came later mercifully used animals rather than humans to point to Christ, the true sacrifice who intervenes to save sinful people. As on Mount Moriah, people deserve to die but they live, and a substitute dies instead.

In this early part of the Bible, God is showing us in stark terms something of the glorious mystery of substitutionary atonement, the Lord's provision, and the role of faith. That's what Genesis 22 is about. Don't misread it as an order to commit murder.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
Hebrews also tells us that at that point, Abraham had a hopeful expectation that God would raise him from the dead to fulfill His promise.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
My take: You aren't looking closely enough at the text in Genesis 22 if you think God told Abraham to commit murder. Not all killing is murder, and the text says nothing about murder. Rather, the text repeatedly says Isaac is to be a burnt offering—that is, an offering for sin.

God has every right to demand this death. The wages of sin is death. Of course, the rest of the Bible will go on to show that it was never God's intent for Isaac to pay for sin, nor was Isaac the sort of perfect sacrifice necessary to accomplish that payment. The role of being our sacrifice for sin goes instead to Christ. He is the Lamb that God ultimately provided, and the One who called out to Abraham and intervened on Isaac's behalf. It is appropriate, then, that the sacrificial system that came later mercifully used animals rather than humans to point to Christ, the true sacrifice who intervenes to save sinful people. As on Mount Moriah, people deserve to die but they live, and a substitute dies instead.

In this early part of the Bible, God is showing us in stark terms something of the glorious mystery of substitutionary atonement, the Lord's provision, and the role of faith. That's what Genesis 22 is about. Don't misread it as an order to commit murder.

Thanks Jack. I agree with your assessment in my OP post.

The person making this original claim views Abraham planning to sacrifice Isaac as premeditated creating a fine line between murder and killing. A few addition points:

1. He didn’t have malicious intent.
2. God commanded it. It reminds me of God commanding the destruction of entire cities in Joshua, which included man, woman & child.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rookie

Puritan Board Junior
I'm not going to try and give more explanation than has been given. I'm much less qualified. Jack gave a very thorough answer. But when it comes to certain passages that are difficult to answer, many times, the answer may not be in that text. It might be explained in a different one. Sadly, most people that read the bible, will try to give an explanation of verse by verse. And while that is great, and is useful for expository preaching, much is missing when you don't make the connection to another verse or text when the reference is needed.

I listen to Brian Borgman's podcast all the time, and he very often will bring in a text, then bring another one that is the background to the first text and why it's being referenced. This brings much more understanding than just verse by verse.
 
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