In a vision of the night he was directed to repair to the land of Moriah, and there offer up his son as a burnt offering upon a mountain that should be shown him. At the time of receiving this command, Abraham had reached the age of a hundred and twenty years. He was regarded as an old man, even in his generation. In his earlier years he had been strong to endure hardship and to brave danger, but now the ardor of his youth had passed away. One in the vigor of manhood may with courage meet difficulties and afflictions that would cause his heart to fail later in life, when his feet are faltering toward the grave.
But God had reserved His last, most trying test for Abraham until the burden of years was heavy upon him, and he longed for rest from anxiety and toil. The patriarch was dwelling at Beersheba, surrounded by prosperity and honor. He was very rich, and was honored as a mighty prince by the rulers of the land.
Thousands of sheep and cattle covered the plains that spread out beyond his encampment. On every side were the tents of his retainers, the home of hundreds of faithful servants. The son of promise had grown up to manhood by his side. Heaven seemed to have crowned with its blessing a life of sacrifice in patient endurance of hope deferred.
In the obedience of faith, Abraham had forsaken his native country—had turned away from the graves of his fathers and the home of his kindred.
He had wandered as a stranger in the land of his inheritance. He had waited long for the birth of the promised heir. At the command of God he had sent away his son Ishmael. And now, when the child so long desired was entering upon manhood, and the patriarch seemed able to discern the fruition of his hopes, a trial greater than all others was before him. The loss of such a son by accident or disease would have been heart rending to the fond father; it would have bowed down his whitened head with grief; but he was commanded to shed the blood of that son with his own hand.
It seemed to him a fearful impossibility.
Going outside his tent, Abraham looked up to the calm brightness of the unclouded heavens, and recalled the promise made nearly fifty years before, that his seed should be innumerable as the stars. If this promise was to be fulfilled through Isaac, how could he be put to death?
Abraham was tempted to believe that he might be under a delusion. In his doubt and anguish he bowed upon the earth, and prayed, as he had never prayed before, for some confirmation of the command if he must perform this terrible duty. He remembered the angels sent to reveal to him God's purpose to destroy Sodom, and who bore to him the promise of this same son Isaac, and he went to the place where he had several times met the heavenly messengers, hoping to meet them again, and receive some further direction; but none came to his relief.
Day was approaching, and he must be on his journey. Returning to his tent, he went to the place where Isaac lay sleeping the deep, untroubled sleep of youth and innocence. For a moment the father looked upon the dear face of his son, then turned tremblingly away.
He went to the side of Sarah, who was also sleeping. Should he awaken her, that she might once more embrace her child? Should he tell her of God's requirement? He longed to unburden his heart to her, and share with her this terrible responsibility; but he was restrained by the fear that she might hinder him. Isaac was her joy and pride; her life was bound up in him, and the mother's love might refuse the sacrifice.
Abraham at last summoned his son, telling him of the command to offer sacrifice upon a distant mountain. Isaac had often gone with his father to worship at some one of the various altars that marked his wanderings, and this summons excited no surprise.
The preparations for the journey were quickly completed. The wood was made ready and put upon the ass, and with two menservants they set forth.
Side by side the father and the son journeyed in silence. The patriarch, pondering his heavy secret, had no heart for words. His thoughts were of the proud, fond mother, and the day when he should return to her alone. Well he knew that the knife would pierce her heart when it took the life of her son. That day—the longest that Abraham had ever experienced—dragged slowly to its close. While his son and the young men were sleeping, he spent the night in prayer, still hoping that some heavenly messenger might come to say that the trial was enough, that the youth might return unharmed to his mother.
But no relief came to his tortured soul. Another long day, another night of humiliation and prayer, while ever the command that was to leave him childless was ringing in his ears.
Satan was near to whisper doubts and unbelief, but Abraham resisted his suggestions. As they were about to begin the journey of the third day, the patriarch, looking northward, saw the promised sign, a cloud of glory hovering over Mount Moriah, and he knew that the voice which had spoken to him was from heaven. Even now he did not murmur against God, but strengthened his soul by dwelling upon the evidences of the Lord's goodness and faithfulness. This son had been unexpectedly given; and had not He who bestowed the precious gift a right to recall His own?
Isaac was the child of a miracle, and could not the power that gave him life restore it? Yet none but God could understand how great was the father's sacrifice in yielding up his son to death; Abraham desired that none but God should witness the parting scene. Not yet—he could not tell him now. At the appointed place they built the altar and laid the wood upon it. Then, with trembling voice, Abraham unfolded to his son the divine message.
Namespaces Article Talk. I said: Messenger of Allah why is it that you did not give it to such and such? But the reason why Rachel took the images of the gods although Jacob had taught her to despise such worship of those Gods, was this, that in case they were pursued, and taken by her father, she might have recourse to these images, in order obtain his pardon. Mormons hold the view that the New Testament prophesied both the apostasy from the teachings of Christ and his apostles as well as the restoration of all things prior to the second coming of Christ. Buttrick ed.
It was with terror and amazement that Isaac learned his fate, but he offered no resistance. He could have escaped his doom, had he chosen to do so; the grief-stricken old man, exhausted with the struggle of those three terrible days, could not have opposed the will of the vigorous youth. But Isaac had been trained from childhood to ready, trusting obedience, and as the purpose of God was opened before him, he yielded a willing submission. He was a sharer in Abraham's faith, and he felt that he was honored in being called to give his life as an offering to God.
He tenderly seeks to lighten the father's grief, and encourages his nerveless hands to bind the cords that confine him to the altar. And now the last words of love are spoken, the last tears are shed, the last embrace is given. The father lifts the knife to slay his son, when suddenly his arm is stayed. Abraham's great act of faith stands like a pillar of light, illuminating the pathway of God's servants in all succeeding ages. Abraham did not seek to excuse himself from doing the will of God.
He might have reasoned that the slaying of his son would cause him to be looked upon as a murderer, a second Cain; that it would cause his teaching to be rejected and despised; and thus destroy his power to do good to his fellow men. He might have pleaded that age should excuse him from obedience. But the patriarch did not take refuge in any of these excuses. Abraham was human; his passions and attachments were like ours; but he did not stop to question how the promise could be fulfilled if Isaac should be slain.
He did not stay to reason with his aching heart. He knew that God is just and righteous in all His requirements, and he obeyed the command to the very letter.
But Abraham's faith was made manifest by his works. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? There are many who fail to understand the relation of faith and works.
However, appearances are deceptive, and this also will fail, and the Communists will revert to a policy of bloody destructions. This will be the fourth great attempt by the devil; it will not be confined to Russia as in , it will be world-wide. But it will fail also. That is why, having realised that atheistic Materialism was still powerless to destroy the Kingdom of Christ, the devil shall try yet a different scheme: he will raise Antichrist, not in order to deny the existence of God, but in order to be adored as God Himself.
Set in Jerusalem in B. C., Descent to Darkness recounts the story of a man's spiritual journey, which takes him down into the depths of darkness and despair. Prophet's Son Book 1: Descent to Darkness [Kenneth John Marks] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Except for the spiritual truths contained.
For if the hearts of men cannot do without the notion of God, let us tell them that I am God. Such will be the purpose of the devil through Antichrist, and the Fathers of the Church tell us that it is so. Irenaeus "This accursed one is sent by the devil in order to lead men into error. Hildegard - private prophecy. He will win the support of many with gifts and money. He will sell himself to the devil and thereafter will have no guardian angel or conscience. Jerome "Dan, Moses said, is a lion's whelp; and in naming the tribe of Dan he declared clearly the tribe from which Antichrist is destined to spring.
Hippolytus "Dan shall Judge his people like another tribe in Israel.