Participants: Shakeela Yasuf
Series Code: DOA
Program Code: DOA000006
00:41 As-Salaam-Alaikum to our Muslim brothers and sisters,
00:45 Shalom to our Hebrew cousins,
00:48 and welcome to our Christian friends.
00:51 We're happy today that you're joining
00:53 us on "The Descendants of Abraham."
00:55 And in today's program we're going to draw closer
00:59 to father Abraham as he faces the test the ultimate test,
01:04 test of all test of his faith, his faith in the Creator God.
01:08 And today I'm going to have Brother Manoukian,
01:11 Steven Manoukian join me as we discuss
01:14 this very, very important lesson that is not only
01:19 for father Abraham but it is for us today.
01:22 Abraham at this point he was 120 years old,
01:26 even in his generation this was old.
01:28 And he was looking forward to his retirement.
01:32 He was wealthy, he had honor among friends
01:36 and neighbors where he lived.
01:37 He was living in Beersheba at this time.
01:40 And his life was filled with the blessings of God.
01:43 I mean, you know, at this point
01:46 he needed nothing else and he was at the best time
01:50 of his life, wasn't he?
01:52 That's true. He thought probably,
01:55 you know, the life trials were pretty much over
01:57 and he settled down in Beersheba and he was doing well.
02:01 And then the ultimate test came and he was facing
02:05 a much larger test than probably he would have ever faced before.
02:10 Actually, I believe it's one of the greatest acts
02:12 of obedience in recorded history.
02:14 Let's take a look at that, that scripture verse, okay.
02:19 It's in Genesis 22:1-2.
02:22 And we'll take a look at that now.
02:24 "Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham,
02:30 and said to him, "Abraham!"
02:33 And he said, "Here I am."
02:36 And He God said, "Now take your son,
02:39 your only son Isaac, whom you love,
02:43 and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there
02:46 as a burnt offering on one of the mountains
02:50 of which I shall tell you."
02:56 Brother Manoukian, you have children.
03:00 I do. What if God
03:03 came to you today with that command,
03:07 how would you feel?
03:09 I don't know what my response would be but I would
03:12 probably be doubtful and angry.
03:17 I cannot imagine taking
03:19 my little daughter and sacrificing her.
03:23 It's just too much to bear as a parent.
03:26 It's just extremely hard.
03:28 And that's what happened here.
03:32 Lord, coming to Abraham
03:33 and asking him to sacrifice his only loved child.
03:40 I cannot imagine that it's beyond me actually.
03:43 It is, isn't it for us.
03:44 But, you know, do you think Abraham would have questioned,
03:49 is this from God or is this from Satan.
03:53 You know, what--this request,
03:55 do you think he at anytime questioned this command.
03:59 Probably he would have questioned it.
04:02 See, we've got to understand
04:04 that God is the author of life and God is love.
04:08 And so whatever God proposes everything
04:11 that He does is to give life to human beings.
04:14 And of course, Satan is the author of death.
04:17 And here he is, the Lord coming to him and saying take your son
04:23 and sacrifice your son, which was very,
04:27 the opposite of God's character.
04:30 So yes, I believe that probably he was in a lot of doubt
04:37 and he wasn't probably, he wasn't sure
04:39 what was happening there.
04:41 We also got to understand that during those time,
04:44 the heathen sacrificed people.
04:47 They had human sacrifices.
04:50 And here the Lord who is the author of life
04:53 and detested that human sacrifices
04:55 that these heathen nations did.
04:58 He was asking Abraham to do the same thing.
05:01 And so I believe that probably, yes,
05:04 Abraham was struggling
05:05 with what the Lord had requested from him.
05:07 Right, because when he was living in Ur,
05:11 God called him out of that, right, out of all of the pagan,
05:16 paganism that was going on, which child sacrifice
05:19 was part of that and the idolatry
05:21 and called Abraham.
05:22 And at that time he obeyed and he came out and left Ur,
05:27 to go into this foreign land and left everyone behind.
05:30 And now it's seemed like he was saying well
05:34 take part of that religion.
05:38 Yeah, exactly. And that couldn't
05:40 have been easy for him.
05:45 What do you think or how do you think he felt.
05:49 Do you think, you know, sometimes we read about this
05:52 and we think that God gave him the command and he said,
05:57 okay, and he took Isaac and he went and tried to,
06:02 you know, obey and slay his son.
06:06 And that's it but they had to have been
06:11 lot of pain there, didn't there?
06:13 Definitely, when we read the scripture
06:16 what happens is we see the story is flowing
06:21 and the emotion element probably isn't revealed as it should be.
06:27 And so I believe there was a lot of emotions
06:31 involved in this whole process.
06:33 And it's not as simple as we think it is.
06:38 Isaac was supposed to be the promised son, right.
06:43 The son of the blessing. Yes.
06:47 Why would God then ask Abraham to kill him?
06:54 Why do you think He would ask him
06:57 that--what would Abraham be thinking at that time?
07:01 I think what the Lord was trying to do is test Abraham
07:06 to the limit, that his priority was God.
07:11 And God came first in his life and of course,
07:15 there was his son Isaac as well.
07:18 So it was a test between Isaac and God.
07:21 And we know what happened as a result of story.
07:26 You know, it is clear in the Bible
07:28 what Abraham had to choose or what he chose.
07:31 Right and I mean when God tested him by asking him to come out,
07:38 leave his relatives, leave his land, leave everything
07:40 behind him and come to this foreign land.
07:43 And that land had to be where the Canaanites dwelled, right.
07:46 It was to Canaan.
07:48 And so he obeyed God without questioning all this time.
07:53 Yes. Why this test.
07:55 I mean why this one.
07:57 Didn't he-- wasn't he obedient all along.
07:59 He was obedient if you look at the story.
08:02 The Lord came to him and asked him to leave Haran,
08:04 he left Haran, he went to Canaan
08:07 and he was dwelling in Beersheba.
08:09 At the same time we also-- he had been obedient
08:12 to the Lord throughout this whole time.
08:15 But this was like the ultimate test in my opinion.
08:18 It was an ultimate test.
08:19 The only son through whom is the descendants
08:23 had been promised was to be sacrificed.
08:26 It was the greatest test in the test of obedience.
08:30 And do you think because sometimes I wondered,
08:34 did this test come to him because of what him and Hagar
08:41 did regarding trying to get involved in the son of promise.
08:47 And Ishmael, you know, was the result of that.
08:53 And so in a way he failed there, didn't he?
08:57 He did, we know from the story,
09:00 you know, he had mistrusted God at a certain point.
09:05 And had of course gone with Hagar
09:09 and then Ishmael was born as a result of that.
09:12 And there was a bit of mistrust but it seems that the Lord
09:16 came back to the-in fact came back
09:18 to Abraham to try him again.
09:21 And this time he did not failed.
09:23 This time he did not failed and this time
09:25 it is the ultimate test, isn't it?
09:29 You know, when we read about this part,
09:33 this part of Abraham's life and we look into
09:38 the Book of Genesis the book of the beginnings,
09:40 you know, and read about what happened here.
09:45 It doesn't tell us anywhere when we read the story
09:48 that Abraham talked to Sarah his wife about Isaac,
09:54 about the sacrifice of Isaac, does it?
09:57 No, the Bible does not mention Abraham talking to Sarah.
10:02 I believe the mother-instinct would have come in there
10:05 and she would have resisted Abraham going or leaving.
10:09 I'm sure there would have been a battle
10:10 between Sarah and Abraham.
10:12 After so many of years of waiting,
10:14 here was the promised son, and all he was going to do now
10:17 is take him sacrifice him.
10:19 So I think Abraham was trying to avoid that.
10:23 So he did not even shared with Sarah.
10:26 I think so. I think so because
10:27 it doesn't mention anything about Sarah
10:29 and Sarah's involvement in this and probably.
10:32 That's true. Probably she would
10:33 have gotten in the way of that.
10:37 Let's, you know, I think at that time
10:40 do you think Abraham had to hold on to something.
10:44 He had to have, you know, you talk about
10:47 he had the relationship he knew God's voice, right.
10:50 He had that relationship
10:52 with the Creator God in the beginning.
10:58 We got to understand something here.
11:00 As I mentioned a bit earlier on, Abraham on one side knew
11:07 that God was the God of love and the author of life.
11:11 And here he was being tested by God to go and sacrifice his son.
11:18 I believe that it was his strong relationship with the Lord,
11:22 with God that strengthened his faith
11:25 to go and to go on that journey.
11:29 And I believe that it was his experience previously
11:31 with the Lord, with the Lord coming to him and telling him
11:34 to leave Haran and going to the Promised Land
11:37 that he had been promised.
11:38 He had heard the voice of God, he knew he was the Lord
11:42 and he was sure of it. Okay.
11:45 And so that is why he went I believe,
11:46 with the journey that he was going to go on.
11:49 Yeah, you know, let's take a look
11:52 at another scripture here from from the Genesis 15:5
12:00 and the scripture is here.
12:02 And it says, "Then He brought him
12:04 outside and said, "Look now toward heaven,
12:08 and count the stars if you are able to number them."
12:12 And he said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
12:19 Do you think Abraham had to remember that promise,
12:22 that promise was made to him 50 years
12:25 before this time of God asking him to sacrifice Isaac, right.
12:30 It's true. Approximately that.
12:33 Do you think that he had to hold on to that promise
12:39 because again just like you said in the beginning,
12:42 I wouldn't do it.
12:44 I would not take a knife and put it in my daughter or my son.
12:49 I know I couldn't do that.
12:52 You know, and at least not today
12:55 but then again we have high insight.
12:59 We have so many stories that the patriarchs left for us.
13:05 Yeah. To show us who God
13:06 is but at the same time at that time,
13:09 Abraham didn't have the Torah.
13:12 He didn't have any scriptures, he didn't have anything except
13:16 his relationship with the Creator God.
13:20 Here is one point here, we also got to remember
13:23 is that every time that the Lord promises something to Abraham,
13:27 He delivered it. The Lord came
13:30 to Abraham and Sarah and said, of course,
13:33 you're going to have a child.
13:34 And out of your child there is going to be a descendant.
13:36 Now they weren't young when the Lord made that promise.
13:39 True. And here lo and behold,
13:41 at a very ripe age, Sarah bears a child, a son,
13:45 and Abraham is really ripe in age as well.
13:48 And there, the Lord delivered His promise.
13:51 That's right. And that I think gave him
13:53 the power and the boost to trust in the Lord
13:55 and put his faith fully in the Lord.
13:59 True, at the same time when God was asking him to do now
14:03 wasn't really, he wasn't giving him,
14:06 he wasn't saying that if you do this I will do.
14:09 He just says, take your son, your only son
14:12 and go and sacrifice him and take his life,
14:17 offer him as a burnt offering.
14:19 There was no promise as such there at that time, was there?
14:25 No, he took it by faith, I believe.
14:27 He took it by faith.
14:29 Just being that's where the obedient comes in, right.
14:32 Exactly. I think Abraham probably was thinking,
14:35 I'm going to take my son and I'm going to sacrifice him
14:39 just as the Lord had asked me.
14:41 But if I sacrifice my son, the Lord had the power
14:45 to resurrect him from the dead.
14:47 And so probably he was-- he I believed
14:50 he was going with that faith.
14:53 That even if he had to sacrifice his son,
14:55 he was going to be resurrected and the Lord
14:57 could have done that.
14:58 And that is why he went ahead with his journey.
15:01 So you think that he believed that the Lord
15:07 would have raised Isaac back
15:10 from the dead and given him back to.
15:13 I do believe that he believed in that but it wasn't easy.
15:18 A lot of times as we think that is easy.
15:22 But he should have really
15:24 really struggled in the meantime.
15:27 We've got to also keep in mind
15:28 that there was a three days journey
15:30 from Beersheba all the way to Mount Moriah.
15:31 Right. During that three days,
15:34 I'm sure Abraham was negotiating and struggling with the Lord
15:39 just as he was trying to negotiate with the Lord
15:42 with regards to Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah.
15:45 Yeah, I believe that, and you know
15:48 we talk about the three day journey.
15:50 But what about that night, I'm sure he prayed,
15:54 he prayed to the Creator God begging Him
15:58 for maybe confirmation, maybe clarity, you know.
16:02 And then he had to go to his son
16:07 until his son-- pack your things, we're leaving.
16:14 And yet he doesn't tell him why yet.
16:19 We just have to go and make an offering.
16:22 We have to go, you know, and Isaac
16:24 is used to go and making offerings and sacrifices
16:27 with this father but Abraham had to hold that in his heart.
16:33 Yes. When he is saying
16:35 to his son, let's go to Moriah.
16:41 He had to go and get him.
16:43 What do you think must have been going on in his soul
16:49 at that time as a father
16:51 and you can't tell your child what it is.
16:54 I personally would be torn apart.
16:57 I would probably want to runaway
16:59 from home and not heed to the Lord, voice of the Lord.
17:04 It must have been a very tough situation for him.
17:09 And yet sometimes we tend to think that it,
17:13 oh, it must have been easy.
17:15 He had relationship and we can just,
17:17 he can just take the son and be obedient and move on.
17:22 But that's not the case.
17:24 It's true. When you read the Bible it's presenting facts
17:28 and so the emotions aren't, don't often come through.
17:33 But there I believe there was a lot of emotions
17:35 going on there. There had to be.
17:37 Yeah. I think so there had to be.
17:39 You talk about the three day journey to Moriah.
17:43 You know, we read that God said to him.
17:46 God said to Abraham, you know,
17:49 take your son whom you love and go to the land of Moriah
17:54 and offer him there as a burnt offering
17:56 of which I shall tell you.
17:58 At that time God didn't tell him where,
18:02 right, just with the land. True.
18:04 Even the journey from Beersheba to all the way
18:06 to Jerusalem or Mount Moriah
18:09 I should say, was a act of faith.
18:13 Because Lord isn't going to go reveal to him
18:14 where he was going to sacrifice his son.
18:16 That's right. Just like when he left Ur, right.
18:19 Exactly. You're going to go,
18:21 but we don't where.
18:24 So, you know, you're saying that he had
18:28 the relationship with God.
18:29 He knew his voice, he was sure and even
18:34 so when he got to Moriah, God must have given him
18:39 some sign that's the mountain, that's where you go.
18:42 Do you think that even that conformation,
18:47 even the confirmation, that yes, this is God,
18:50 would have taken away the pain.
18:54 I really doubt that.
18:56 The mere fact taking a knife into your hand
18:59 and sacrificing your child is not an easy task.
19:03 It's not an easy thing and that pain and I think
19:05 that's what sometimes we need to realize that when God
19:09 asks us to do something, it's not always pleasant
19:14 but we have to be obedient to anyone.
19:16 We have to, we have to listen.
19:20 Let's take a look at Genesis 22:7-8, and it says
19:27 "But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said,
19:30 "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son."
19:34 And he, Isaac said, "Look, the fire and the wood,
19:38 but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
19:42 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself
19:46 the lamb for a burnt offering."
19:48 And the two of them went together.
19:52 What do you think about that?
19:54 Here is Isaac looking around and saying,
19:57 "Father Abba, daddy, here's the wood,
20:01 here's the fire, where is the offering?"
20:05 He wasn't sure probably what's happening there.
20:08 And he was beginning to ask, dad where is the lamb
20:11 or the ram that you want me to sacrifice, it wasn't there.
20:15 So he wasn't sure what was going on as well.
20:18 Right, Isaac wasn't sure but Abraham knew.
20:21 Abraham knew and he hadn't told Isaac that.
20:23 He hadn't told Isaac but here it is your son now comes,
20:26 he says daddy, Abba, where is the offering?
20:30 Where is the lamb?
20:31 What are you feeling?
20:34 You can't, you can't say anything yet.
20:37 Yeah, it must have been very hard.
20:39 I mean the mere fact that he had not mentioned it to Isaac,
20:43 I believe he was struggling with it.
20:45 Right. He was struggling
20:46 with him going and sacrificing his son.
20:49 And then we read that Abraham bound him
20:57 and built the altar and laid him on the wood.
21:01 Yes. How old
21:06 was Isaac about that time.
21:07 About I think, believe 20 years old.
21:09 Twenty years old, a very strong young man.
21:12 Abraham is an old 120 year old man.
21:15 That's true. Why didn't Isaac take off?
21:19 Well, if you look at it, there Abraham builds the altar,
21:25 there's you have this young man
21:27 who is alone with this older man.
21:30 All he had to do is just run and take off.
21:34 That's all he had to do.
21:36 Because the servants left them at a certain spot,
21:39 they moved forward and they came to the place of sacrifice,
21:42 he was bound and all Isaac had to do was just runaway
21:47 but he doesn't do that.
21:48 I believe that he also had faith
21:52 that the Lord was going to provide.
21:54 That Isaac had that faith.
21:56 Exactly. And, you know,
21:57 I think that's true because we read this story
22:01 and we say Abraham was the father of faith.
22:03 Well his son Isaac also had to have that faith.
22:07 He could have overpowered his father,
22:09 he could have done anything but he must,
22:11 he must have believed in the God of Abraham.
22:16 Exactly. Also and submitted
22:21 to his father, as his father submits to the Creator God.
22:25 Exactly, here I believe we see the faith
22:27 of Abraham as well as Isaac.
22:30 Lot of times we don't look at Isaacs's faith here.
22:33 But Isaac had very strong faith
22:35 I believed because he could have runaway.
22:37 That's right, that's right.
22:39 Let's take a look at one more-- couple of more verses
22:43 here in Genesis 22:11-13.
22:48 And that says, "But the Angel of the Lord
22:50 called to him from heaven and said,
22:52 "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
22:56 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad,
22:59 or do anything to him; for now I know
23:01 that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld
23:05 your son, your only son, from me.
23:08 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked,
23:11 and there behind him was a ram
23:13 caught in a thicket by its horns.
23:15 So Abraham went and took the ram,
23:18 and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
23:22 And Abraham called the name
23:24 of the place The Lord-Will-Provide."
23:28 There's a lot being said in there, isn't there?
23:31 True, there is a lot in that little passage.
23:37 So Abraham has got the knife
23:38 and he is about to slay his son Isaac.
23:43 And right the last second the Creator
23:48 waited before he said no.
23:50 Yes, that's exactly what happened.
23:53 I mean, it was a last minute thing,
23:56 the Lord spoke to him.
23:58 And Lord had to speak to him because and then he looked back
24:01 and there was the ram that was provided for sacrifice
24:04 and it was the ultimate test to the last second.
24:10 To the last second and both
24:12 Abraham and Isaac passed that test.
24:15 True. They both passed
24:17 that test. They both did.
24:18 And they must have been so relieved and thankful to God.
24:23 That's true.
24:25 For providing and He did provide.
24:28 In verse 18 of that same chapter
24:33 Genesis 22:18, that promise was repeated
24:40 after Abraham and Isaac were faithful.
24:42 It says, "In your seed
24:44 all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
24:47 because you have obeyed My voice."
24:51 All the nations of the earth shall be blessed
24:54 because you've obeyed My voice.
24:56 So again, God repeated that promise.
24:59 True. Do you think
25:02 that all of heaven were witnessing this awesome scene?
25:06 They had to have been witnessing this awesome scene.
25:09 Not only testing the faith of Abraham
25:11 but the submission of the son.
25:14 That's true. Heaven must have been watching and looking
25:20 at this man who was just going to go sacrifice his son,
25:23 100% depending on the Lord.
25:29 And I believe heaven was pleased
25:32 whether his by his obedience, by his faith in God.
25:35 Today we touched on father Abraham
25:38 and the sacrifice of his son
25:41 that the Creator God asked him to do.
25:44 Does not mean that our Creator God
25:48 believes in human sacrifice
25:50 and the sacrifice of children in taking their lives.
25:54 I would like to say absolutely not.
25:57 No, He does not.
25:59 This was a test of faith of father Abraham
26:03 but I believe that God would never have allowed
26:07 him to take Isaac's life.
26:10 And, you know, he didn't have to find out,
26:13 we didn't have to find out because God
26:15 stepped in at the right moment and says, stop.
26:20 That is proof enough that He never would have done,
26:23 and He just wanted to see and test Abraham's faith
26:27 that was so important.
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