1. When he said to Abraham, Sacrifice you son Isaac to me, Jehovah tested Abraham. The story went like this: “Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of” (Gen. 22:2). The mind of Abraham worked hard, and he thought: Jehovah promised me a son whose lineage will be like the stars of the sky (Gen. 15:3-5). He has promised this many times, already, saying that my offspring will be a great blessing to all the nations of the earth. It is obvious that he would not take away the life of my son, whom he himself generated in the womb of Sarah. He is bluffing, or he wants to find out something. I will place Isaac on the altar, and he will not allow the sacrifice.
And Abraham, leaving the young men that travelled with him behind, went up to Mount Moriah. He took the wood of the sacrifice and placed it in on Isaac, his son. And he took fire and the knife. And Isaac asked his father Abraham, saying: “‘Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they both went together. They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to kill his son. The angel of Jehovah called to him out of the sky, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ He said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Don’t lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me’” (Gen. 22:5-12).
Abraham was right. Jehovah did not plan to kill his son Isaac. How can we know that Abraham did not believe in the command of Jehovah about the sacrifice? Because Abraham said to his servants: “The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship, and come back to you” (Gen. 22:5). If Abraham had been sure that his son would be sacrificed to Jehovah, he would have said: The boy and I will go yonder. I will worship and come back to you. But Abraham said, instead: We will both return. Therefore, he did not believe in the project of Jehovah.
2. Jehovah, as we all know, called Abraham while he lived in Haran. The one who left Hur of the Chaldees with all his family was Terah, Abraham’s father. The text says: “Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife. They went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. They came to Haran and lived there. The days of Terah were two hundred five years. Terah died in Haran” (Gen. 11:31-32).
Jehovah, then, manifests himself to Abraham for the first time, and say to him: “‘Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing.’[…] So Abram went, as Jehovah had spoken to him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran […] Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. The Canaanite was then in the land. Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, ‘I will give this land to your seed.’ He built an altar there to Jehovah, who appeared to him. He left from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to Jehovah and called on the name of Jehovah. Abram traveled, going on still toward the South. There was a famine in the land. Abram went down into Egypt to live as a foreigner there, for the famine was severe in the land” (Gen. 12:1-10). Then Abraham thought: Jehovah called me to go to Canaan and, now, because of the famine, I am forced to go down to Egypt. I am confused. Finally, where will my place be? In the letter to the Hebrews we read: “By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he went” (Heb. 11:8). The Promised Land was Canaan, not Egypt. Abraham, already doubting, said to Sarai, his wife: “‘See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look at. It will happen, when the Egyptians will see you, that they will say, “This is his wife.” They will kill me, but they will save you alive. Please say that you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that my soul may live because of you.” It happened that when Abram had come into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. He dealt well with Abram for her sake. He had sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels” (Gen. 12:10-16).
If Abraham believed that Jehovah was truly God, he would have believed that Jehovah would keep him and also Sarah, what did not happen. Jehovah did not keep them. Sarah became Pharaoh’s wife for a time long enough as to allow Abram to enrich, and after that Jehovah stroke Pharaoh with plagues.
Now, four hundred years in the future Jehovah was going to give a law saying that a married woman given to another husband could not return to the first husband after she had been defiled (Deut. 24:1-4). Sarai was defiled in Pharaoh’s bed, and Abraham received her back, as if all was well. Does Jehovah have two weighs and two measures? Also, if the married woman became adulterous, she would be stoned. Sarai committed adultery, and it was all right (Deut. 22:22). This is a new sin of Jehovah. The truth is that Abraham did not expect to receive anything from Jehovah. He took shelter under Sarai’s beauty. On the other hand, the laws that Jehovah wrote on the tables of the Law were not part of his moral code, for he acted differently with Abraham.
Fantastic! Doubting Jehovah Abraham became the father of faith (Gal. 3:7-9).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira