Holy Spirit


#1

Hi,
This afternoon I read a post on a thread about Abraham and Isaac and the poster wanted to know what sort of a God would ask someone to sacrifice his son. I had thought about this before and assumed it was a measure of Abraham’s faith.
This evening after coming home from work, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes. This is typical of His presence in my life, on a continual basis. I will post this while it is fresh in my mind.
This is not about Abraham’s faith. It is about the amount of faith God can and does instill in a person, sufficient to do what is required.
It was never about the sacrifice of a person, this is not the issue and was never a consideration.
Think, Isaac a son of about 14 years old, an endearing age, a son of the promise, a son born to aged parents who had given up hope of having children, a son who meant so so much to people living in that age, this is the son to be sacrificed, this is the amount of faith God gave to Abraham.
This is a story for us to understand the ability of God to provide faith sufficient for the task at hand. Abraham did not flinch, he just went ahead.
This provision is for us, those who walk in His path.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#2

Certainly.

Belief and faith in God were foregone conclusions for Abraham.

If you also look at the book of Hebrews, you will find additional insight of the Bible into the faith of Abraham.

The promise of God to give Abraham innumerable descendents was interpreted by Abraham, in light of God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, that Isaac would be resurrected, even if he was sacrificed.

( Now, Muslims would look at that promise as being fulfilled through Ismael (did I spell that correctly?), through whom they are supposedly descended. )

Yes, the testing of Abraham is a great event and sign in the Old Testament. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One!


#3

[quote=BayCityRickL]Certainly.

Belief and faith in God were foregone conclusions for Abraham.

If you also look at the book of Hebrews, you will find additional insight of the Bible into the faith of Abraham.

The promise of God to give Abraham innumerable descendents was interpreted by Abraham, in light of God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, that Isaac would be resurrected, even if he was sacrificed.

( Now, Muslims would look at that promise as being fulfilled through Ismael (did I spell that correctly?), through whom they are supposedly descended. )

Yes, the testing of Abraham is a great event and sign in the Old Testament. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One!
[/quote]

Hi BayCityRickL,
I didnt explain my self too well. This is not a testing of Abraham, but a witness to the amount of faith given by God.
Put yourself in Abrahams shoes for a mo. And he did not flinch. Man was he topped up with faith. Look to what God has done with Abraham, not what Abraham has done.
Christ be with you
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#4

I think if God said to me to do something I wouldn’t hesitate (once I’d got up off the floor!)

You would be so in awe- wouldn’t you?

I think that you have to put it in context of immortality and the next life, then, as JM Barry said, death is just another adventure!
:slight_smile:


#5

Keep in mind that the same God who asked, then spared his servant Abraham from sacrificing his son, was willing to sacrifice His own Son, without being asked (i.e. as a free gift). I’ve always found this to be a remarkable prefigurement of Christ’s sacrifice. Our omniscient, omnipotent God asks nothing of His creatures that he will not endure Himself.


#6

Yeah, but–

What would you guys say if somebody you knew was trying to kill his 14-year-old son because, as he said, “God told me to?”:bigyikes:

After all, that’s what Abe was doing!

My own personal belief is that this story is a myth, corresponding to a test of faith that occurred in Abraham’s heart.


#7

EdwinG,

This is not a testing of Abraham, but a witness to the amount of faith given by God.

The Holy Spirit told me that you are incorrect.

The beginning of Genesis 22 states: “Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham ,”


#8

[quote=patricius]Yeah, but–

What would you guys say if somebody you knew was trying to kill his 14-year-old son because, as he said, “God told me to?”:bigyikes:

After all, that’s what Abe was doing!

My own personal belief is that this story is a myth, corresponding to a test of faith that occurred in Abraham’s heart.
[/quote]

Heh ?

In that time, in that place many gods would ask their believers to sacrifice their children.

Abraham and many of his contemporaries would not have found this as outrageous as we do.

The fact that God sent an angel to stop it and use a ram as a substitute may have been quite a novelty.

Abraham’s neighbor : **“Wow ! Abe, you mean to tell me that your god asks you to be willing to sacrifice your son, but doesn’t make you go through with it ? Gosh, I’d like to follow your god.” :thumbsup: **

The lesson for Abraham : I reallly am able to place all my trust in God.

The lesson for Abraham’s family and decendants : Our father had the ultimate faith in God and God did not let him down.

The lesson for Abraham’s neighbors : Abraham’s God requires ultimate faith and sacrifice, but also has the mercy enough to allow a substitute sacrifice.

**We can all thank Abraham that we find this kind of Child Sacrifice to be appalling and evil. **

**This incident was the first time that anyone suggested that such a thing was not of God. :dancing: **

todd


#9

[quote=edwinG]Hi BayCityRickL,
I didnt explain my self too well. This is not a testing of Abraham, but a witness to the amount of faith given by God.
Put yourself in Abrahams shoes for a mo. And he did not flinch. Man was he topped up with faith. Look to what God has done with Abraham, not what Abraham has done.
Christ be with you
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
[/quote]

'tis true that God has given Abraham the initial grace of undying Faith, but his part of answering His call is not of no value, either. God’s grace doesn’t take Free Will out of him. I think this is an example of Man’s co-operative works with God’s graces to bear much fruits in His sanctifying grace? :cool:


#10

[quote=itsjustdave1988]EdwinG,
The Holy Spirit told me that you are incorrect.

The beginning of Genesis 22 states: “Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham ,”
[/quote]

Hi its justdave1988,
Well He told you correctly. I am wrong and you are right.
Praise be to His vigilance,
I thank you for your post
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#11

[quote=patricius]Yeah, but–

What would you guys say if somebody you knew was trying to kill his 14-year-old son because, as he said, “God told me to?”:bigyikes:

After all, that’s what Abe was doing!

My own personal belief is that this story is a myth, corresponding to a test of faith that occurred in Abraham’s heart.
[/quote]

Good point! You would lock 'em up and throw away the key!!!


#12

[quote=FightingFat]Good point! You would lock 'em up and throw away the key!!!
[/quote]

Only because The God of Abraham has revealed that such a thing is wrong to do.

If you were a follower of ancient pagan religion - This idea would not sound so crazy.

G.K. Chesterton discussed this idea in “The Everlasting Man”

He calls your reaction “spending the Catholic capital” that has been stored up in our culture by The Church.

todd


#13

[quote=mrS4ntA]'tis true that God has given Abraham the initial grace of undying Faith, but his part of answering His call is not of no value, either. God’s grace doesn’t take Free Will out of him. I think this is an example of Man’s co-operative works with God’s graces to bear much fruits in His sanctifying grace? :cool:
[/quote]

Hi mrS4ntA,
Yes , what you say is full of merit. " His call is not of no value either.etc.
Christ be with you
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#14

The promise of God to give Abraham innumerable descendents was interpreted by Abraham, in light of God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, that Isaac would be resurrected, even if he was sacrificed.

This is false and clearly an anachronistic way of looking at the Abraham and Isaac story. Almost all biblical scholars agree on this point, from the liberal Lawrence Boadt to the conservative Fr. Most.

Abraham clearly had no belief in the resurrection at the time he was asked to sacrifice Isaac despite Hebrews 11: 17-19 (which leaves the author of Hebrews in the nasty position of clearly being wrong):

The Epistle to the Hebrews (11.17-19) says Abraham believed God could raised up Isaac from the dead. The fact that Hebrews says this is not conclusive, for it is clear that the genre of Hebrews is homiletic, which easily includes a fanciful thought. The OT gives no mention of a resurrection so early.

catholicculture.org/docs/most/getwork.cfm?worknum=81

However, and even more importantly, it is still unlawful for someone to kill someone (commit an evil act) with the intention of doing good or with the futur hope of good. I cannot walk into a Church and shoot the place up and simply not worry because God will raise those people up again…he promised.

But what is more troubling is that God should comman an objective evil. The earlier remark from Chesterton is an interesting point where it can be used to combat superficial athiest attacks; however, it adds nothing to the problem of internal consistency in Catholicism. I have discussed at length elsewhere (forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=2132&page=2&highlight=amarischuk) but it is still an important point.

In order for the sacrifice of Isaac to be justified, Catholicism must abandon Aquinas’ natural law system and rely on a morality akin to Lutheran nominalist divine command theory. Aquinas stumbles over this problem (newadvent.org/summa/306406.htm) yet the anti-intellectual Lutheran Soren Kierkegaard absolutely revels in it and makes it the pinnacle of personal development, the infinitively passionate faith in an absurdity (read paradox) in “Fear and Trembling”.

I think if God said to me to do something I wouldn’t hesitate (once I’d got up off the floor!)

If god told you to do an objective evil, you would obey? The only objective evils are those things against god’s will or is there a moral order of absolutes? Which will it be, God’s will or his reason? which one is primary? According to Aquinas it is his reason, according to Luther, His will.

Abraham’s story is not about anything but obedience and obedience of the most disgusting sort. Listen to the priests, prophets or kings, they speak for God, "This is what the Lord of hosts has to say: ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.” (I Sam 15, 2-3)

Adam


#15

Hi Adam,
God is a God of revelation and we can only digest so much at a time. His ways are the ways of wisdom. I think one has a clearer picture if one’s mind is open to learn. Once a mind is closed it can not learn.
Can you help me?
What were the social conditions prevailing when God "tested " Abrahams’s faith? Of course God knew that no one would be killed in this instance, but Isaac was so greatly loved by Abraham, as much as any son could be loved by man. This is how much faith God can instill.
You said you can not go into a church and shoot it up because God promised.
When did God make this promise, in His revelation?
When did this become an evil?
When has God ever commanded an objective evil?
Are you telling us you are aware of His wisdom or have a greater wisdom than He has?
All should know His reason as it never ever changes, His reason is Love. So simple. And God loves all people and Yes He cries and despairs because we exercise our will which is without love and wisdom.
You are very mistaken about God asking us to do evil? God has a continuing revelation. Once people killed and it was not held against the people, God cursed the ground and not the person. Moses then received the law and the commandments.
In His love and for His revelation, battles were waged and won and lost so you today can believe in His authority so that by the end of the age your life can be spared. Are you going to let that be for nothing? Do you have the wisdom of God’s judgment at the end of the age? Now the revelation forbids us to even carry anger. Forget killing. Are you , who are being critical of His alleged evil, living up to His loving standards as they are now currently revealed.
Christ be with you
walk in lovehttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
edwinG


#16

[quote=edwinG]This afternoon I read a post on a thread about Abraham and Isaac and the poster wanted to know what sort of a God would ask someone to sacrifice his son.
[/quote]

The more important question is this: What kind of man would agree to sacrifice his son without even so much as an argument?

– Mark L. Chance.


#17

[quote=edwinG]Hi Adam,
God is a God of revelation and we can only digest so much at a time. His ways are the ways of wisdom. I think one has a clearer picture if one’s mind is open to learn. Once a mind is closed it can not learn.

Do you have the wisdom of God’s judgment at the end of the age? Now the revelation forbids us to even carry anger. Forget killing. Are you , who are being critical of His alleged evil, living up to His loving standards as they are now currently revealed.

[/quote]

The simple answer is that the Bible isn’t God’s revelation in the way you think it is.

Kierkegaard called this the teleological suspension of the ethical…this is contrary to Catholic moral philosophy.

Even many in the middle ages rejected this interpretation of the Abraham and Isaac story (see Hugh of St. Victor’s response to the allogorization of scripture in the Didascalion). Pere M-D Chenu OP discusses this at length in “La Theologie aux Douxieme Siecle” and prefers the typographical model.

To alter the angel’s criticism of St. Jerome (you are not a Christian but a Ciceronian), I am not a Christian but a Thomist.

Always the argument on this seems to boil down to “Once a mind is closed it can not learn.” read: I am close minded and obviously not a good Catholic. Well, I prefer consistency to blind obedience and the God I worship is a God of order and reason, not the anthropomorphic tyrant of the OT.

Any serious study of the Bible inevitably leads to a much more moderate position; unless one is mentally unbalanced like the cases of so many fundamentalists and rad-Traditionalists who have an obsession with Marian apparitions, eschatology and the Anti-Christ.

Adam


#18

In that time, in that place many gods would ask their believers to sacrifice their children.

Abraham and many of his contemporaries would not have found this as outrageous as we do.

This is a really interesting angle. If I understand you correctly, then God’s substitution of a ram was actually part of His teaching on the sanctity of human life and the sinfulness of murder.

But… He had already just expected Cain to know that murder was wrong… what do you say to that?


#19

In that time, in that place many gods would ask their believers to sacrifice their children.

Abraham and many of his contemporaries would not have found this as outrageous as we do.

This is a really interesting angle on the question-- if I understand aright, then God’s substitution of a ram would really be part of His teaching on the sanctity of human life and the sinfulness of murder.

But… He had already just expected Cain to know that murder was wrong, without being told… if there’s something in the human heart that finds murder repulsive (especially that of a younger family member), then how could God command Abraham to do it? What can you say to that?


#20

firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9412/articles/kass.html

Best article I’ve ever read on Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac.


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