And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him: ‘Abraham’; and he said: ‘Here am I.’
And He said: ‘Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.’
Genesis Chapter 22
Abraham walked into his son’s tent.
“What’s going on buddy?”
“Nothing, mom is forcing me to do homework and I truly am not in the mood.”
“You need to listen to her, trust me, you don’t want to get her angry. What subject?”
“How much work can you have – nothing really has happened yet.”
“Why are you here?” Isaac asked, clearly annoyed.
“Oh, I need you to wake up early in the morning. I have spoken with the Lord and he has given me a task to perform.”
“What is it?” Isaac asked.
“You will find out when it’s time to tell you.”
“How long will we be away?”
“I don’t know, a couple of hours?” Abraham answered non-committal.
“Around 3 or so.”
“That’s not early, that’s inhumane. Do I have a choice?”
“You don’t really have a choice, I will have you woken at 3 O’clock, so try and go to sleep now.”
With that Abraham walked out. Isaac spoke to himself.
“Shit, I hate going on those ‘tasks,’ they aren’t ‘tasks’ they are some sort of crazy life changing experience. And it’s never just a couple of hours – it’s always days. Then the old man starts to act like he is hearing voices and goes off on his own and leaves me with the donkeys and the servants. Those guys are not the best company to be left overnight with either – I have seen them with the sheep, not a pretty sight.”
The next morning they set out on their walk.
“What are we going to be doing, pop?” Isaac asked.
“We are going to Moriah and we are going to make a sacrifice there.”
“I like that area, can we stop by and check out Aunt Edith?” Aunt Edith had turned into a pillar of salt when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for being really bad people. God told Lot, her husband, no one should turn to look. When someone tells you “Don’t look” the first thing human nature dictates you to do is, look. They called her Edith because she had sinned with salt or something. Maybe she cooked with too much salt. Who knows?
“Don’t call her that – no, we are not going there. Why would you want to see a human being who is now a pillar of salt?”
“I never really met her or even Uncle Lot for that matter.”
“They aren’t your Aunt and Uncle, they are your cousins. Well, Lot is. He is my nephew.”
“Why do you always refer to him as your ‘brother.'”
“It’s complicated and a long story. I’ll get you the book one day.”
“You wrote a book?”
“No, it hasn’t been written yet.”
“So you’re thinking of writing one?”
“No, no, no – listen, its complicated. Can we just walk?”
With that, they walked and walked, and walked until Abraham looked up and saw the place that God had instructed him to go.
“OK boys – you guys stay here with the donkey. Behave and we will be back soon. Isaac, you come with me. Give me the wood, actually, Isaac here carry the wood. I got the fire and the knife.”
“But, pop, where is the animal to sacrifice?”
“Animal? Oh, yeah, God will provide one, son, God will provide.”
They walked up the mountain. It was hot, probably 110 degrees and the sun was extremely oppressive.
“Dad, can we rest somewhere?”
“We are almost there son, almost there.”
They finally reached the top of the mountain. Isaac laid down the wood and lay upon them. He fell into a sleep and Abraham tied him up with the rope.
Isaac woke up.
“What the hell? What are you doing? What are you crazy? Un-tie me! Is this another circumcision? Don’t you think you cut off enough?”
“This is not a circumcision, my son, God has commanded me to sacrifice you as a burnt offering.”
“God has…You’re going to burn me alive??? Pop, I thought I was your favorite – you know you got rid of the Arab kid and his mother – I figured you made the right decision there. Now you are going to burn me alive because you heard a voice calling to you? You ever hear of dementia? You aren’t such a young man anymore – listen to me, pop, those voices were not really voices they were just sounds in your head. Please, un-tie me – let me go.”
“Sit still, I will slice your throat first so you wont feel a thing.”
“Well that’s thoughtful of you, no, I’ll tell mom!”
“Sit still – what?” Abraham looked around and began conversing with himself.
“I should not lay a hand on him? It was a test? A test???” Abraham responded to silence.
“A test? That’s what He calls it, a test?” Isaac screamed out.
“I passed? With flying colors? Oh good. So? What do I get?” Silence.
“You get to keep me alive – not cut this rope off of me, now.” Isaac throwing his legs up and down trying to get loose.
“Ah, look, there is a ram caught in the thicket!” Abraham cut the rope and Isaac quickly stood.
“What’s a thicket?”
“That, that’s a thicket and, help me get the ram so we can sacrifice it.”
“Help you? Are you kidding me? You’re crazy, you’re demented – wait until mommy hears about this.”
Isaac ran down the mountain and out of sight.
Abraham for his part, was spoken to by the angel of God.
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven and said: ‘By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.’
Abraham made it down the mountain.
“Did Isaac come down here?” He asked.
“We saw someone running down the mountain, couldn’t tell who it was. He was screaming some stuff about thickets or something.”
“Don’t pay any attention to that, he ate some strange mushrooms or something. Saddle up the ass and let’s get out of here.”
Isaac ran. He ran until he could barely breathe. It was then he came upon a large structure in the shape of a woman turned around. He licked his finger, touched the woman and tasted her.
Isaac was on his way back home several days later and was met by Abraham as he walked.
“I thought you ran away with Aunt Edith.” He said.
“Funny, pop, funny.”
“I know you are angry at me, I can understand that.”
“You’re lucky I don’t press charges or worse, tell mom.”
“I appreciate that, but hear me out, son. When I hear God’s voice I know I am in the presence of an omnipotent force. I knew from when I was a child that all of the idols, the stars or the planets were not the creator of our world. I knew.”
“How did you know?” Isaac asked.
“To be honest? I don’t know. But I knew, I felt it. When I first heard him it wasn’t a sound like when I hear your voice or a thunder. It was all encompassing.”
“But why would he tell you to kill me?” Isaac was confused and in his eyes you could sense the feeling of betrayal.
“He never was going to let it happen, he was just testing me. I was an inch or so from killing -” With that Abraham realized what he came so close to actually doing. “It is called feeling and knowing for a fact, even though there is no concrete evidence of it – that God is watching over you.”
“You mean, having faith.”
“Yeah, but its more than that – having faith is believing – this feeling I am describing has no word for it – it is simply a part of a person such as a limb.”
“OK so what was the ‘prize’ you are getting for actually carrying out his commandment to you to kill your son.”
“Well, it’s not a ‘prize.’ It’s a promise that, me, a man who could not have children for the first century of his life, will be the father of infinite amount of people or as He put it, ‘I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore.'”
“You need to understand it was not an easy decision to make, not something I took lightly. You are my son with my love Sarah. You were the son God promised to your mother and me after being married forever. He told me that I should offer you to him as a sacrifice – I had no choice. But you see? When you listen to the words of God and you live your life as I have – treating people the way I would want to be treated – good things will happen. There were times I thought I would be killed, times I thought your mother would be taken away from me and times I thought I would never have a child. Now, here I am, an ‘old man’ as you called me. With your mother by my side and my son right in front of me. We go through crazy things in life, son, but if you stay true to who you are and you are a good man, things will always work out. But trust me – a lot of bad stuff will happen in your life. Betrayals, injuries, deaths…but, a lot of amazing things will fill it as well. Always remember the promise that God has made to me which extends to you, my son.”
“I am still freaked out pop, not gonna lie.”
“Yeah well, it will fade. At least I didn’t cut your-”
“OK let’s leave it at this. I love you pop.”
“I love you too, son.”