Abraham’s Faith Tested

Long ago, there lived a very righteous Hebrew named Abraham. He was righteous because he listened to the Creator, Yah, and did everything he was told to do. Abraham and his lovely wife Sarah did not have children, even though they wanted some very much. But Sarah was not able to have children.

One day, Yah sent heavenly messengers to Abraham when he was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He ran to meet them and bowed low to the ground. Then he said to the leader of the messengers, who was the Son of Yah, “My master, if it pleases you, stop here for a while. Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet. And since you’ve honored your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.”

“All right,” said the Son of Yah. “Do as you have suggested.”

So Abraham ran back to the tent and asked his wife, Sarah, to bake bread from the best flour they had. As the heavenly messengers ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.

“Where is Sarah, your wife?” the messengers asked.

“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.

Then the Son of Yah said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”

Yah kept his word and did what he had promised through his Son. Sarah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at the exact time Yah had said it would: one year later. And Abraham named their son Isaac.

When Isaac got a little older, Yah tested Abraham’s faith.

“Abraham!” Yah called.

“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am.”

Yah said, “Take your son, your only son—Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Since Abraham was so faithful he listened to Yah and did not argue. The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place Yah had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place far in the distance.

“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife.

As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”

“Yah will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered.

And they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where Yah had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. Faithfully, Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the heavenly messenger of Yah called to him from heaven, saying, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”

“Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the messenger said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear Yah. You have not kept your son, your only son, from me.”

Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yah-Yireh (which means “Yah will provide”). Long after this happened, people still used that name as a popular saying: “On the mountain of Yah it will be provided.”

Then the messenger of Yah called again to Abraham from heaven. “This is what Yah says: Because you have obeyed me and have not kept your son, your only son, from me, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”

Then they returned to the servants and traveled back to Beersheba, where Abraham continued to live.

What Yah was showing Abraham, and young Hebrews like you who would hear this story, was how much he actually loves us, because Yah himself would send his own Son, Yahushua the Messiah, who he loves very much, to die for us as a sacrifice for all the bad things we’ve said, done, thought of, and felt, which we’re very sorry for. Once we ask Yah to forgive us for these wrong actions, words, thoughts, and feelings, he can look at his Son, and know that his sacrifice washes those sins away.

Read this story in: Genesis 18:1-15 | Genesis 21:1-20 | Genesis 22:1-19

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