Genesis 22:1-2 -Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

Was God not omniscient in testing Abraham regarding the sacrifice of Isaac?

Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest,, and get into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of…….and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of the heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God." (22:1, 2.)

C. Now it is quite clear that the Biblical God possesses finite knowledge and that He is not omniscient. Abraham too was simpleton, else he would not have acted in the way he did. Had the Biblical God been an Omniscient Being, He would have been able to find out all about the firmness of Abraham's faith through His Omniscience. It is certain then that the God of the Christians is not an All-knowing God.

Answer: In fact, this entire story understood in its context, proves that Holy God of the Bible is omniscient. There are at least two things that are taught here:

a) How God molded Abraham: In Genesis 12:1-3, God called Abraham out of his country and family. However when a famine occurred in Genesis 12:10, Abraham went to Egypt without putting his complete trust in God. Abraham at that time would have thought how he would survive without food and who will provide him if he does not go to Egypt.  Now, after many years, when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham willingly came forward knowing fully that God is able to provide (Genesis 22:8) and also that God is able to raise the dead (Hebrews 11:19). What a God whom we trust. We can all be refined and become heroes of faith like this.

(b) In the omniscience of God, our eternal Savior was teaching how the salvation would come to the world.  

In Genesis 12:1-3 God promised Abraham that Abraham will be a blessing to all the families of the earth.

Genesis 12: 1-3 “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

In Genesis 17, Jehovah Promised of a son for Abraham through Sarah through whom the covenant shall be established.

Genesis 17: 19 “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him”.

In Genesis 22, God commands the promised son to be sacrificed. There is a  connection between Genesis 12, 17 and 22.

God in His omniscience told the world that it was through the sacrifice of the Seed of Abraham that ALL families of earth will be blessed.

Who is that Seed? It is through the sacrifice of Jesus, the Son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1) that all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

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