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Reply to "Not a Sermon only a Thought"

ksazma posted:

If Abraham was going to kill Isaac with God hoping to make him think that he will not have all those descendants, then Abraham outsmarted God because he still had a living son Ishmael who can provide those descendants. Looks like Abraham is smarter than God. Or it is more like the writers of the Bible are confused. To repeat, at no time was Isaac Abraham's ONLY son because Ishmael was alive and about 14 years when Isaac was born.

Answer: Ok, let me address this only ONCE you have repeatedly attack the Bible by saying it was full of contradictions. As I always emphasizes in many of our previous discussion, READ and UNDERSTAND what you are reading.

Let’s look it up, because the way you stated it looks like a contradiction. It is true that Ishmael was Isaac’s older brother [Genesis 16:11], but I would rather see what the Bible actually says.

ksazma hope you are not offended that I didn’t take your word for it. And besides, for the others looking in on this discussion, this is a good lesson in itself. Why trust what someone says God says, when we can easily read God’s Word for ourselves?

Let's look at Genesis 22 and read:

Then He said, "Take now 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 22:2)

The passage didn’t say exactly what you are claiming. Look at the phrase "whom you love" as a qualifier for "your only son." In other words, Isaac was the only son Abraham loved.

I don't see a contradiction here, since the Bible says Abraham had only one son that he loved. Ah, alright, I assume you are thinking I am playing with words right.....lets just go with that assumption for a minute.

Here is where the old meets the new or is it the new align with the old testament books.....Are we awake, pay close attention now. Look at Hebrew 11:17-19:

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

The passage in Hebrews qualifies the "only son" concept as well. Isaac was the only begotten (i.e., unique, special) son of Abraham. Isaac was indeed unique and special in that he was the promised son through whom Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would come (Genesis 17:19–21).

Similarly, Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), even though others are called the sons of God (e.g., Adam in Luke 3:38 and Christians in Galatians 3:26). Jesus is the only unique and special Son of God, God who became a man.

This brings up another answer to the alleged contradiction. The Hebrew word used for "only" is yachiyd, which means "unique" or "only begotten" (special). So the Hebrew clarifies that Isaac is indeed the special, unique, only begotten son of Abraham. Isaac was the son of promise. So this answers the alleged contradiction.

Sometimes we miss the obvious answer as well. In the previous chapter (Genesis 21), Ishmael was sent away. So in chapter 22, Isaac was Abraham’s only son, for his other had gone away, presumably never to return under Abraham’s household. So this is another plausible solution to the alleged contradiction. Also, once Isaac had grown and Sarah had died, Abraham married Keturah, and they had six sons together (Genesis 25:1–2).

Let’s briefly go back to my initial answer. Did Abraham not love Ishmael? It’s true that he listened to Sarah and sent Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, away. But Abraham was originally distressed by this plan. God told him, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the bondwoman, because he is your seed" (Genesis 21:12–13). This was the second time God had promised Abraham that Ishmael would be blessed. In the first instance, Abraham asked God to make Ishmael the son of promise (Genesis 17:18–20). So it seems very likely that Abraham did love Ishmael and that my initial response was inaccurate.

Conclusion: For my follow Christian brothers & sisters who are reading this post, this answer highlights two important practices in dealing with the alleged contradictions in Scripture. First, make sure you take the time to read the relevant passages to make sure the one making the charge is accurately quoting the Bible. I did that in this instance. Second, remember that you don’t have to answer right away, especially if you haven’t studied the subject before. It is crucial to take the time to explore the Scriptures so you can give an accurate response. There is no contradiction about the number of Abraham’s sons.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Obey God and leave all consequences to Him.