Dear family and friends, Genesis Chapter 22, begins with God testing/proving Abraham. The Lord God knew what the results would be. Regardless, Abraham had to go through the test. Everyone’s faith in The Lord God is tested. Each of us must experience the trial of life. We must feel the pressure, stress, and anxiety. Do we have confidence in The Lord God? Do we trust the words of The Holy Scriptures? Are they light to our Path?
Some of our ancestors struggled with trusting Moses. Some doubted the promises of ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ It is not unusual for us to feel weak, surprised, vulnerable when our test feels overwhelming.
The Torah Teaches us just how human we are. When the pressure is on, and the heat is turned up some of us may doubt the existence of God. We may feel like God does not keep His Word. We might STOP believing The Holy Scriptures. Perhaps we seem abandoned, isolated, lost in the universe. What do we do when everything in our world seems upside down and backward? How do we keep our soul from being lost at sea? What happens when just about everything we believe seems to evaporate? In uncertain times like these, it is reasonable to be frightened, worried, and insecure when threats are pounding on our doors and lurking in our background.
Abraham lived safely, securely, and confident in God’s Promises. Abraham placed his hope in the Promises of The Lord God, even though there were times of adversity and trouble. Through it all, The Lord God never failed Abraham or Sarah and those they loved!! How did Abraham live so confidently? What did Abraham know that could benefit us right now?
Abraham was logical from his youth. Those who have learned with me have had the opportunity to observe Abraham’s deductions and reasoning. Remember the story of the idols. Abraham credited the large idol with breaking the idols in his father’s store. What about Abraham’s arguments when speaking with king Nimrod? How did Abraham deduce that he and Sarah could not have children?
Abraham was a Prophet that benefited from dreams, visions, and other perceptions. Studying Gematria provides us with mystical revelation. Learning Hebrew Signs unveils the hidden to others. In Genesis 24.2, we read that Abraham requested Eliezer to place his hand under his thigh and swear he would not take a wife for Isaac from among the people of Canaan. Doesn’t it seem a bit odd to place one’s hand under someone else’s thigh? Why was this done? What is the significance? Before Sarah’s pregnancy Abraham, Ishmael, Eliezer, and every male born in Abraham’s home and those purchased with his money above the age of eight days old received a Brit Milah/Circumcision. The thigh area was near the area of circumcision.
Abraham studied the ways of The Lord. He walked in His ways. We term this, Derek HaShem. Abraham understood the Paths of God, i.e., The Lord God’s Will. For example, God’s Will is for us to be honest, not to steal, not to lie, to show proper respect for The Lord God, and much more. In other words, many of us already know what God’s Will is for ourselves, but we pray prayers as Ooh God show me Your Will. That brings us to our discussion. Abraham knew that it was not God’s Will for him to sacrifice Isaac. The Lord God does not permit human sacrifice!! Abraham understood that. Abraham knew that he and Isaac were being proven. Since Abraham knew God’s Ways, it was clear to him that God would not require him to take his son’s life. Human sacrifice is forbidden regardless of the reason or situation! We are to respect the body which houses each of our souls. Killing or murdering tarnishes our Holy Being. It stains us! What we say, what we see, and what we do, has the power to defile our holy being.
Behold, The Lord’s Hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear; but our iniquities have separated between us and our God, and our sins have hidden His Face from us, that He Will not hear. For our hands are defiled with blood, and our fingers with iniquity; our lips have spoken lies, our tongue has muttered perverseness. Isaiah 59.1 – 3
And The Word of The Lord came to [David], saying, ‘You have shed abundant blood, and have made great wars; you shall not build a house to [honor] My Name, because you have shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 1 Chronicles 23.8
And it happened after these events,( the birth of Yitzchok, the ejection of Hagar and Yishmael and the agreement between Abraham and Avimelech,) and the God Tested everything from the Letter Aleph to the Letter Tav of Abraham. I write about Avraham’s experience in my book entitled, Passover, The Last Six Days.
And it happened after these events, that God Tested Abraham and He Said to him. ‘Abraham!’
and Abraham responded, ‘Here I am.’
and He Said to him, ‘Take your son. ‘
and Abraham said I have two sons,
and God Said, ‘your only son,’
and Abraham said Yishmael is an only son to Hagar
and Isaac is an only son to Sarah
and God Said, the one whom you love
and Abraham said I love Yishmael, and I love Yitzchok.
And God Said take – Yitzchok – and go to the land of Moriah sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will designate to you.
Dear Reader, Abraham was tried and proven. Yet, Abraham remained strong. Are we able to stay on the path when we are tried? Are we able to continue remaining strong? The purpose of our discussion is to help us remain strong and confident in The Lord and The Torah.
Abraham knew God’s Will, so he arose early in the morning. He saddled his ass. He chopped the wood for the burnt offering; He took his son and two young attendants. They headed towards the land of Moriah. On the third day, Abraham raised his eyes and ‘Saw The Place’ from a distance. He said to his attendants, ‘the lad, and I will go [up] yonder and worship, and come back to you.’
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac, his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and the both of them went on together. And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, My father; and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God Himself will provide a lamb for a burnt offering; so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac, his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel/messenger of The Lord called to him from heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not your hand upon the lad, nor do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you did not withhold your son, your only son from me. And Abraham lifted his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns; Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in place of his son.
May each of us enjoy, good health, happiness, healing, restoration, and Blessing, as we study about confidence and trust in The Lord and The Holy Scripture.
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk