"Why did God tell Abraham to kill his own son?"

Genesis 22:1-2 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.

Genesis 22:9-12 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.

We are told that Abraham was ordered by God to sacrifice his own son.  As Abraham is about to strike Isaac, an angel tells him to stop and that God now knows he is fearful of him, so he spares Isaac.  Why did God need to test Abraham at all? Up to this point Abraham has been extremely loyal. Why did God need to test him in this way? As an omnipotent being, wouldn't he have already known if Abraham was fearful of him?  Why is it important that Abraham fears God?  Why did God choose human sacrifice as the test? Does God support human sacrifice? If he does not support human sacrifice, why would he want a follower who would willingly do such a thing even if commanded to? Abraham obviously believed that his God could and would demand such a sacrifice.

Read More

"Why would God command his people to kill their disobedient children?"

Leviticus 20:9 For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.

This seems like an unjust punishment. What constitutes cursing your father or mother? Why would God ask his people to pass judgement or punishment on his behalf? Couldn't he reserve ultimate justice for the disobedient child in the afterlife? Why would he not allow the individual a chance to redeem themselves and be forgiven for their sins?

Read More