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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Isaac

My A to Z blogging theme is characters in (people from) the scriptures. Since my blog is a book blog, this theme would fit right in and help me strengthen a weakness at the same. How fantastic is that?!  This challenge is a blessing. Thank you A to Z Challenge team!  *Book: LDS quad combo scriptures: KJV Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. (p)1989, (c)1979.


The Isaac I want to focus on is the story found in Genesis 22, the sacrifice on Mount Moriah. From the Book of Mormon, there is insight that Abraham's willingness to offer up his son Isaac was a similitude (counterpart, double, a point of comparision- Merriam-Webster) of God and his Only Begotten Son.

In this chapter in Genesis, God wanted to know if Abraham would obey Him so Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  As you may recall, Sarah (Abraham's wife) had been baren but God had promised a child for them whom the covenant was to be fulfilled.  And after many years of fruitless waiting, at old age, beyond birthing years, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, their only son.  So Abraham's test to sacrifice Isaac took tremendous faith.  Isaac was a willing participant too because he could have, if he chose to, put on a great fight with his then very old 100+yo dad when he was eventually being tied down.  But he didn't so Isaac had tremendous faith as well.  Moreover, when Isaac had been bound on the altar at said mountain, Abraham took his knife and was about to kill Isaac but an angel appeared to stop him.  Test, passed. :)

Here's some details of this (Abraham's test) similitude that God used to teach about the future sacrifice of His only Son (paraphrased from my study in the Old Testament Student Manual Genesis - 2 Samuel: Religion 301, ©2003):
  • Abraham was similitude of Heavenly Father, and Isaac of Jesus Christ.
  • Abraham's name:  Abram means "exalted father", Abraham means "father of great multitude".  Both of these can be said of Heavenly Father.
  • Isaac and Christ were products of miraculous births.
  • Isaac and Christ were sacrificed in the same area, just a few hundred yards away .. Isaac at Mount Moriah and Jesus at Golgotha.
  • Isaac carried the wood of the burnt offering on his back while Christ carried a cross upon his shoulders on the way to His Crucifixion.
  • Isaac and Christ submitted to their fathers' will.

From the Bible Dictionary:

Isaac. He laugheth. The son born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, the child of promise, and the heir of the promises (Gen. 15:1–6; 17:15–19; 18:9–15; 21:1–8). The main interest of his life gathers around his birth, the sacrifice on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22), his marriage (24; 25), and his dealings with his sons (27; 28). There are numerous references to him in various parts of the Bible (see especially Gal. 4:28; Heb. 11:9, 17, 20). In character he appears to have been a peace-loving shepherd, of great personal piety, full of affection for the members of his own family. In D&C 132:37 we are told that Isaac is now exalted and sits upon a throne with Abraham and Jacob. Cf. Matt. 8:11.

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