Isaac's Faith And Obedience

Abraham was one of the most faithful people of Bible History; he is even referred to as the "father of the faithful," which has a double, and somewhat ironic, meaning. A defining test of Abraham's faith and obedience to God also involved a great amount of faith and obedience on the part of Abraham's son Isaac, who willingly and obediently submitted himself as the "lamb" in what would surely have been a fulfilled sacrifice of Isaac. At the time, Abraham was elderly, and Isaac was a nearing-manhood youth; Isaac could have overpowered his father, or at least outrun him, if he had chosen to resist his own imminent death, but he didn't. He too had faith.

Isaac's Faith And Obedience

It was intended only as an ultimate test, but only God knew that. As far as Abraham was aware in the days just before, and as Isaac was aware in the minutes just before, it was for real. God may have chosen the sacrifice of a son as the test because it was something that He would experience Himself - God knew that, centuries later, near the very same location of Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, God would bring about the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus Christ, and although in the hours just before His crucifixion Jesus may have had Isaac's near-sacrifice in mind when He asked "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39 RSV), that was a Sacrifice that would not be stopped.

A test of faith and obedience for Abraham, and Isaac:

Fact Finder: What does the New Testament have to say about the near-sacrifice of Isaac?
Hebrews 11:17-19
Note: these verses provide another symbolic parallel between Isaac and Jesus Christ, the "bringing back from the dead," i.e. "he considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back" (Hebrews 11:19 RSV)

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This Day In History, September 3

1189: Richard I (Richard the Lion-Heart) was crowned king of England.

1260: The Battle of Ayn Jalut, a decisive victory of the Mamluks of Egypt over the invading Mongols, which saved Egypt and Islam and prevented the western expansion of the Mongol empire.

1658: Oliver Cromwell, "lord protector" of England, died at age 59.

1752: Britain and the American colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar (named after Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII - see Pope Gregory's Calendar), replacing the less accurate Julian calendar (named after Julius Caesar). To implement the new calendar, 11 days were officially omitted that year i.e. September 2 was followed by September 14. Some people rioted, accusing the government of stealing 11 days of life from them.

1783: The Treaty of Paris was signed between Britain and the newly-created United States, officially ending the American Revolutionary War.

1939: Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France and India declared war on Germany in response to Adolf Hitler's invasion of Poland 2 days earlier. The beginning of the Second World War in Europe.

1940: The United States traded Britain 50 navy destroyers in exchange for rights to build an American military base in Newfoundland, which was then a British colony. Newfoundland joined Canada in 1948.

1944: British troops liberated Brussels.

1975: Viking 2 landed on Mars.

1978: Albino Luciani was coronated as Pope John Paul I. He died only 34 days later, some say under mysterious circumstances, at age 66. He was succeeded by Polish-born Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, 58, who took the name Pope John Paul II - the first non-Italian Catholic pope in 450 years.

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