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#76773 - 03/16/03 03:25 PM Genesis 22
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
I went to mass today and this part of the Word came up. It comes up every year, and every year I have a hard time dealing with it.

Reading I
Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he replied.
Then God said:
"Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you."

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing--
all this because you obeyed my command."


Why does the Lord do this? I want to understand how a God who loves all could possibly ask one of his own to SACRIFICE another life, let alone one's own flesh and blood.

I love my Lord, as myself. I love others as myself, or at least I am doing my best. However, if my Lord were to ask me to sacrifice my son for Him, I would not do it. Not that He would find me worthy to even ask, but, I would be very pissed off that He would even consider asking. Why do we read this every Lenten Season? What is the point I am missing here? Please help...TheDean if you read this, know that I was praying to Mary for an answer today...she would know Abraham's pain...and I wait...am I asking too much?

Peace

Orodo

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#76774 - 03/16/03 07:05 PM Re: Genesis 22
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
I am going to pray for an answer to that one too. I got to church and missed the first reading today. I think he just wanted to test him though. The priest told the sermon about the guy who took a job as a monkey in the lions cage. I dont know if youve heard that one before, but it basically shows the guy who went into the lions cage was never in danger.

I think its a faith matter, how much do you trust in God. I've heard it has something to do with beleiving that he can raise us from the dead. God offered his own son as a sacrifice and he raised him from the dead. Do we also believe he will raise us from the dead? Is there nothing he can't fix? Is there nothing he can't make better? If God said "lend me 100 dollars, I'll pay you back 100 fold later, would I lend it to him? I think about it and I think, would I fall backward like a tree falling and let God catch me? Would I go like the disciples and take no extra cloak or any money and just trust he will provide for me. He said to the rich man, sell everything you own, give the money to the poor and follow me, and you will have riches in heaven. He didn't do it, I don't know if he beleived him or not, I just know he didn't do it. Matthew 6:24-34 says to trust in providence and do Gods will and know he will make everything ok in the end if we obey his will.

That sounds like the ultimate test of faith though. Even more than giving your own life. I think every (maybe most) father value thier children's lives more than thier own. In the Lord's prayer it says "and lead us not into temptation..." and thats what I stick with when I think about that one.


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#76775 - 03/16/03 11:46 PM Re: Genesis 22
Nathan LaChine Offline
Webmaster
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5381
Loc: Washington State
orodo I care so much about you that this reply is being done by my wife. This is the first time I have shared this website with her. She has been with me through the good and the bad and even the worst parts of my life. She knows the bible like the back of her hand and I asked her about your post. She told me so much that I though I would let her post it. So here is my lovely wife VIcki.

the reading is about faith and abraham knowing that God would not have asked him to kill his only son-the one that he loved so much if there was not a good reason for it. Hebrews 11:1 talks about faith , faith is not a readiness to beleive something without sound evidence of what will be...It is impossible to have real faith without accurate knowledge.

You wouldn't say of a man you just met..."I trust that man. I can count on him to keep his word and I know that if I have a problem he will come to my rescue." You don't say this about someone you just met, you say it about someone who has always shown you dependability.

So if God were to ask you to do something like sacrifice your only son you would know it was for a good reason and faith would keep you from even asking why. Josh 23:14 says (basically) you well know with all your heart that not one word God has spoken to you has failed. So...faith would just let you do whatever God asked, knowing that He would'nt ask you to do something just for the heck of it.

The other thing is faith without works, in james somewhere it says faith without works is dead. When Abraham offered up Isaac his faith was shown by his works. so as the body without spirit is dead so is faith without works dead.


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#76776 - 03/16/03 11:49 PM Re: Genesis 22
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
Wow Nathan, & thanks Mrs. Nathan...Peace...

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#76777 - 03/17/03 09:04 AM Re: Genesis 22
al Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
i think what is kind of being taught is that god had to ask for the biggest most important most valuable thing abraham had, and that was his son because nothing else compared to gods love for abraham. an interesting parallel: god loved us so much he gave us HIS son


Issah 41:10
do not be afraid....i am with you. i am your god let nothing terrify you. i will help you and make you strong. i will protect you and save you.

if you really truly believed those words maybe you could do it.... not me, but just my 2 cents :p

_________________________
Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

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#76778 - 03/17/03 01:51 PM Re: Genesis 22
Chey-Wy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Cheyenne, WY
Orodo,

Quote:
Why does the Lord do this? I want to understand how a God who loves all could possibly ask one of his own to SACRIFICE another life, let alone one's own flesh and blood. ......Why do we read this every Lenten Season? What is the point I am missing here?
God knows that I am not by any means a religeous expert but here is my point of view. Some people with a better understanding of the Bible may disagree with me but here goes.

Quote:
When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing--
all this because you obeyed my command."
Quote:
Why does the Lord do this? I want to understand how a God who loves all could possibly ask one of his own to SACRIFICE another life, let alone one's own flesh and blood. .
This my interprutation:

Christ is refered to as the Lamb of God. He is also the Son of God. Every day when we sin we break God's heart. In the past God asked us to make a sacrifice to be forgiven of our sins. But God sent Christ into the world to forgive our sins.

Christ died so that we might live eternally with him. Who asked Christ to die. We do. Whenever we sin we do. Yes, it was God who told Christ that he must die, But Christ died so that you and I can someday live with God and Christ in Heaven.

Quote:
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
I think that my feeling is that "because Abraham did not withhold his son from God, God did not withhold his son from us.

Isn't is a scary thought to think that if Abraham had not shown God how devoted he was ... that God might have withdeld Christ from us. Christ was God's only Son. And God made the ulitmate sacrifice so that you and I can live.

Quote:
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
Abramam found a Ram. A Male Sheep. He sacrificed to to God.

The LAMB OF GOD was also sacrificed. The LAMB OF GOD was traped in a thicket of thorns too. The only Crown that Christ ever wore was a crown of throns.

God offered his son as a sacrifice so that all might experience eternal life.

Quote:
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing--
all this because you obeyed my command."
Right there God made a promise that he would take posession of the gate of our enemy. Our enemy is sin. God's enemy is sin. Our Enemy is sin. But every time we drink the cup and braak the bread we are reminded of how god sacrificed Christ.

But the story does not end with Christ Death. It ends with Christ Rising of the third day. Rising from death. Rising from sin. Rising from the grave. Sitting on the right hand of God the father almighty.

Quote:
Why do we read this every Lenten Season?
Like I said. I am not an expert on religeon and Victor and Bob may well disagree with me.

But the bible is full of references to furure events. Full of proficy.

All I know is that I am working on reading the entire "BOOK". What I have read gives me comfort. And probably the most beautiful part is the ending .... Someday I will meet my Lord and savior .... and go to live with GOD.

Quote:
"I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead. He ASCENDED into heaven and siteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen."

* catholic (lower-case) meaning the church universal, the Body of Christ.
O,
I hope this answers some of your questions. I think the story is read at lent because it is an illusion to what God's ultimate plan is.

Lylab ORODO

We love because Christ first loved us.

John

_________________________
From the Song MOUNTAINS by Lonestar.

Yeah, the good Lord gave us mountains,
So we could learn how to climb

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#76779 - 03/17/03 02:46 PM Re: Genesis 22
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
This a very important and confusing question for someone to ask, especially a father who has sons. It borders on the unthinkable!! The responses you guys have shared is great...a lot to think about. I'd like to express another side of this question.
I was in the delivery room with my wife while our second child [my first son] was born. So much was going wrong - the nurse forgot to turn on the oxygen even though my wife had it placed over her nose; the doctor was trying to deliver 4 babies at a time and was not focused on our delivery; the baby was too big to deliver naturally; the doctor was up on the delivery table with a whole 'bunch' of nurses and interns helping...etc. I was scared!! I began to pray finding myself saying.."this is your creation, O God, and if you want us to have him okay or if you want to take him to you it's okay!" I was shocked into the reality this baby was God's and if we had the baby, it was because God chose to give him to us. I am glad He did give us our son but he was damaged in birth...okay today!! I've never forgot that all things belong to God and He loans them to us for a while. I learned to enjoy all my children and life itself as much as I can.
This was issue Jonah struggled with at the end of his OT story. Does this make sense? I hope it helpled!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#76780 - 03/17/03 07:24 PM Re: Genesis 22
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
TY Brothers...

Peace...

orodo

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#76781 - 03/17/03 07:48 PM Re: Genesis 22
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
I'm straying from the topic a little bit, but I've felt like Jonah at the end of his story many times in my life, and in a similar way God showed me I had no right to be angry about stuff that wasn't mine and that I was just borrowing.
Quote:
[6]
And the LORD God appointed a plant, and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm which attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a sultry east wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah so that he was faint; and he asked that he might die, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." But God said to Jonah, "Do you do well to be angry for the plant?" And he said, "I do well to be angry, angry enough to die." And the LORD said, "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night, and perished in a night.
One more interesting relevant thing about Ninevah is that it was in present day Iraq.

MO Healing


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#76782 - 03/18/03 08:09 PM Re: Genesis 22
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Orodo,

The folks here have all given good explanations for how they see this story and it's meaning.

For me, this is a relgious myth--that is, a story told to make a point. I do not need to believe that this actually did happen just as it is written--but some do.

For me, the story speaks powerfully of a person's absolute trust in the goodness of God. So, he did as God asked him, knowing that if he did what he had been asked that God would know how much he loved and trusted God, AND somehow, this loving God would not let his precious son actually get killed.

It is a bit like us today. We need to trust in a mere man, George Bush, that if we make war on Iraq that it will be for the betterment of the world and people won't get killed in the future by horrid gases etc.

No man could actually kill his son. He especially would darned well know that if a voice told him to do so it certainly is not God's voice telling him that. Psychotics do things like that, not normal people.

We read it during Lent to remind us that we need to trust God completely AND we do at times have to do some really difficult things, make some huge sacrifices that truly pinch or bite--but we can do them because God is the good we seek.

I also think we read it to make fathers think of how much they love their children and their sons in a special way. I read dozens of book on the psuchology of boys and the problems boys face. I am reading a wonderful book just now called RAISING CAIN. I need to read more about girls as well. Raising Cain speaks of very great love for boys and of their very great special needs. I am sure that young girls also have their special needs--it is just that more boys than girls come to me for guidance.

I salute and admit to great envy to you men, and women, who are parents. You have worked miracles in your lives. You have mt most sincere respect. Maybe after this discussion you can give any of your children amnesty if you have grounded them etc.!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob

Make sense?

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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