Sunday, January 07, 2024

Abraham Failed the Test

I wrote this in a discussion about Abraham and Issac 10 years ago-

First, I don't think the event actually happened... It is a moral fable which a nomadic people told to make a point. If you get emotionally invested in it being real, you will probably miss the author's intended point... as you would if you felt Apollo was the negligent party with Asclepius by letting him drive the chariot in the first place.

But let's assume it all happened as it is written. First, we may error in assuming Abraham viewed Isaac the way modern parents view their children. Abraham most likely viewed Isaac as his most treasured possession... but still a possession. If it came down to it, he would save his own rear end before he would save Issac; in the same way any of us would sacrifice any possession we have to save our own skin.

However, I would look at it this way. What if the god Jehovah really wanted Abraham to say no? He is the most powerful being in the universe... he always gets what he wants... but he has no equal, so he lacks relationships. Here he is trying to forge one with his creation... but he can't get around his... imposing personality. He can't help but feel his relationship with Abraham isn't really a friendship... and it was proved that day. He had Abraham's obedience but that is a poor substitute for friendship.  He knows Abraham fears him... and this leaves him disappointed. 

God was like the bully of the playground who one day realizes that he has a big posse but no friends. He is surrounded by sycophants and those who are afraid of him. What he yearned for was for Abraham to say no. That is what friends do... sometimes they help protect us from ourselves. A true friend would never acquiesce to such a demand.

I don't think Abraham passed the test that day. He failed his son, and he failed the god who wanted to be his friend.

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