Child sacrifice, killing and lying – apparent contradictions resolved
Several weeks ago (see Part 1) we began a journey down what might be considered a tricky path as we took a first step towards addressing an enormous subject – perceived Bible contradictions. This is a huge undertaking, not only because of the Bible’s very nature, being ancient and authored by several over many centuries, but because of the emotional reactions from the opposing sides as well. Many people and groups have “exposed” what they have concluded are blatant contradictions within its pages. They are not shy about advertising their findings – just look online! Then there are those of us who do believe that the Bible IS the inspired word of God and are convinced that the scriptures are sound and harmonious. Part 2 of the task we are taking on is simple – address these reported contradictions one at a time in an effort to clear up what we believe are errant conclusions.
The Bible has in its pages many accounts that upon reading could easily leave you scratching your head and wondering why God would do THAT. Because of this, many assert the God of the Old Testament was basically a monster. They conclude this based on their interpretations of several Scriptures they say show God as a bloodthirsty sovereign. One such example is the account of God calling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. What kind of God would require such a thing? The answer they give is only a monstrous ruler would do that.
I agree. Only a monster would do that. Let’s remember one detail that seems to be continually overlooked regarding this story. That is, God never intended and did not allow Abraham to do any harm to his son Isaac. As a matter of fact, God had an angel standing at the ready and an actual sacrifice available to fulfill His request. So, was God just toying with Abraham? No. There are many reasons for this whole scenario to have unfolded in this way. We will touch on just one.
Abraham was called to follow God out of an environment of deep and monstrous idolatry. In that environment, sacrificing children to some stone or wooden image was a very common occurrence. God called Abraham to be loyal to Him and to no other. In God’s demonstration of His love and power, He dramatically showed Abraham that He was a God who did NOT desire or require the taking of innocent life. He instead was the preserver of such life. This would be dramatically demonstrated again thousands of years later when Jesus (a descendant of Abraham and Isaac) gave his life to redeem the lives of all humanity.
This is just one example with only a small piece of reasoning attached to it. There are several others, some even more dramatic than this! Check out our June 3, 12019 podcast, “Does the Bible Contradict Itself? Part II” for more. We look at how God really views things like human sacrifice, killing and lying. Walk with us for a reasoned approach on these difficult Scriptures and see for yourself!
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