Why did God tempt Abraham?

@Pose123 (21671)
Canada
August 15, 2009 6:03pm CST
Although I no longer believe those stories contained in Genesis, I realize that a great many do and I like to ask questions. Since most people agree that God knows our thoughts, he had to have known that Abraham would sacrifice his son if asked. In that case why did he have to put him through all of this since he already knew what Abraham would do? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
9 responses
@1hopefulman (21345)
• Canada
28 Nov 10
I'm sorry to hear that you don't believe in the stories found in the book of Genesis. I believe every word! Let me explain the account: God was going to bless Abraham immensely but needed to see what he would do and how strong was his faith. Would he be willing to give up his special son? God could have read his mind with no problem. But God needed to actually see, not for his sake but for our sake and the sake of any that might question what Abraham might do if he had never done it. God has to always be able to prove everything to the universe as if we are all involved in one gigantic court case and everything has to be based on actual events and happenings not just the reading of the mind. I can think one thing and do something totally different than what I'm thinking. But once I have done something, it is a fact and no one can ever doubt it.
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (21345)
• Canada
28 Nov 10
Hi pose123! I like people who think and I am convinced you are one. I do not impose my beliefs on anyone but love a good discussion. I love people who tell the truth no matter what it is and so I appreciate your honesty and truthfulness. I have been studying and researching the Bible for over 40 years and am convinced that it is the word of God. I did not make this decision hastily. I recognize that others have reached a different conclusion. What are your comments on my explanation of why Abraham's faith was tested? Does it make any sense?
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
16 Dec 10
Hi again 1hopefulman, Your ideas are I think standard Christian thinking. If you feel that you must take everything literally, than it would be important to any sincere person to have an explanation that is satisfactory to him. You are doing fine I'm sure. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (21345)
• Canada
19 Dec 10
Thank you and I wish you well!
@Rozie37 (15505)
• Turkmenistan
16 Aug 09
God did not tempt Abraham, he tested him. He does not do this because he does not know what we are going to do, he does it to show us what is in us. I am sorry that you no longer believe what the book of Genesis says. I have always felt that either it is all true or known of it is true. I don't pick, choose, and refuse what to believe, I take God at his word.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
16 Aug 09
Hi Rozie, Genesis 22: verse 1 says,"it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham" (KJV). If you find that you can accept the Bible literally and it helps you, that's fine for you but I feel differently. Thank you for commenting. Blessings.
• United States
23 Aug 09
Hi I agree with rozie37..Either you take all the Bible as the Word of God, or none of it. Who are we as a man to decide what is and isnt true? That is placing yourself on a pedastel(sp) above God and saying I know what is true and not. My dad feels as you do and we went around and around when i was in college.Finally I said; Dad..we are both Irish,(stubborn), we will both never agree with the other..so why do we not agree to disagree and not waste time with this anymore! God tested Abraham and I believe too, it was to show Abraham,Isaac and the people of that time what was in Abraham's heart for obedience and trust. You bring up another whole discussion tho when you throw in "since God knows what will happen anyways why do it" questions. That is a theology question which can drive you crazy to think about.That brings up pre-destination or not, it brings up free-will or no free-will, and to me as I have thought about everything,in depth, it boils down to; DO you TRUST God? DO you take Him at His Word? DO you acknowledge there is intelligence far beyond our ability to reason or understand? If so, then you walk by faith..if not, then you probably do not really believe in a personal relationship with Christ, or that God is REALLY who He says He is!! ** By the way if you have studied any history you would know that Abraham,Moses,King David and others ARE mentioned in the time periods in History that they lived in. This is off topic but as i home-schooled we used many resources for studying Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and other areas that actually show HOW the Bible lines up with history, or rather History with the Bible! My kids were amazed to find out the Pharaohs, Kings etc of Moses,Davids times were real and lined up with what the Bible was saying. This was long but you did not ask a simple question! Peace and blessings to you!! rosemarie
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
30 Aug 09
Hi articwolf, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on most of this, I could never believe in the God of the Old Testament but I could never be an atheist either. Blessings.
• Trinidad And Tobago
21 Aug 09
God knows our thoughts as is beleived. Therefore God wanted to see what Abraham would do. You could also ask why was Jesus Christ tempted by Lucifer?
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
21 Aug 09
Hi suluchewy, If God knows everything about us, wouldn't he already know what Abraham would do? Thanks for you comment. Blessings.
• Trinidad And Tobago
22 Aug 09
This is where freedom of choice comes in. As any parent who knows their child knows what type of behaviour to expect but in order to try/test the individual to see their strength/faithfulness. you send your child on an errand knowing that this child will stop and play on the way or this child will do as told, but you send them by doing this you have given them a choice do as i am told or do as i please. Abraham beleived/trusted/loved God to be willing to go the extra mile and sacrifice his son if necesssary, but he went on this journey knowing that God would not take his son from him and God knew that he knew this waited to see if doubt would creep in. Hope i did not repeat myself.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Probably he wanted to test him to find out how much he loved him. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son for God.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
16 Aug 09
Hi Mirita, I know that is the standard response but wouldn't an all knowing God already know his thoughts and commitment? Thanks for commenting. Blessings.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Yes ,but God has given us free will ,and is really up to us to decide at the end. We are not programmed ,so even God doesn't know what our decision is going to be at the end. We are not robuts ,but human beings.
• Philippines
19 Sep 09
God never tempts anyone. The one who is tempting man and the one who is the tempter is Satan, God's enemy. God only TEST our faith like Abraham. God puts us in a situation to test us whether we absolutely follow Him, trust in Him, depend on Him or not.
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
19 Sep 09
Hi overcomer_phoebe, Thank you for commenting. Please read Genesis Chapter 22, verse 1 in the King James Version of the Bible. Blessings.
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
17 Aug 09
In my opinion, Abraham was set as an example - eventhough he is one of God's chosen ones - he was still 'tested' and tempted,.. to show us that God will put EVERYONE through any test - a test, choice, hardship which would seemed too difficult and unbearable to us, but which God knows we could actually overcome, provided we always believe in Him, that He will never abandon us if we always go back to Him (pray to Him) for help and guidance...
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
17 Aug 09
Hi 4mymak, Thank you for your comment. I was thinking that the God who knows our every thought would know of Abraham's faith without having to test him. Blessings.
• United States
15 Aug 09
Because one of the greatest things that it is beleived that God gave us is freedom of choice. People may beleive that god knows their thoughts at the moment, but he doesn't know what you will choose to do tomorrow. It was an ultimate test of Abraham's faith. Abraham could have chosen to defy god and not sacrifice his son, but instead he placed his faith in God, that God knew what was best and folled his command.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
15 Aug 09
Hi fruitcakeliz, Thank you for your comment, but it still seems to me that God would know. Blessings.
@glords (2615)
• United States
15 Aug 09
I'm not going to be a preachy here because my faith is much like your own. However this is how I understand the theology behind this question. Although God knows what we will do, he must give us the free agency to make our own decisions. Otherwise we would not be growing spiritually. The scripture was meant to serve as a reminder throughout time of God's own sacrifice, as he suffered the Savior upon the cross to die that men might live. It was meant to make people think of their own hearts and what they would be willing to sacrifice in the name of God and salvation.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
16 Aug 09
Hi glords, Thank you for your thoughts and it is an interesting concept but a little difficult to accept in my opinion. Blessings.
@Fire10 (293)
• United States
15 Dec 10
Hey there - My comment isn't too far different from what most have posted... I believe that God did know Abraham's ability/potential to follow Him - without the trial. I don't think Abraham knew for sure what he was or would be capable of following. Partially, Abraham needed to know so that he would understand why God would bestow the blessings that He did - and so that Abraham would believe what God already knew. On a slightly different note, knowing one's potential is a very different thing from fulfilling it. I am suggesting that the trial was also a growing experience that left him significantly changed/stronger afterward. Just because I know I could does not mean that I reap all of the benefits or growth from having done the deed. I propose that Abraham was a different person before His obedience - and could only be rewarded for being... Like Abraham, I don't think we are judged by our potential... because with our infinite potential the judgment (would be pointless) would yield no separation between any two souls. So, instead we are judged by who we are and who we actually become.
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
16 Dec 10
Hi Fire, Thanks for commenting and I like your answer. You seem to be suggesting that it was Abraham who needed to learn and grow and that makes more sense. It wasn't for God but for Abraham himself, a very good point. Blessings.