Why Did God Tell Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?

by Natasha Crain

A mom posted in a Christian Facebook group recently about her daughter’s struggle to understand why God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Genesis 22:1-2 says:

God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

Her daughter asked why God would tell Abraham to kill his own son, which, she said, would be a “wicked” command. The mom was looking for help on how to explain to her daughter that this event doesn’t make God wicked.

There were dozens of Facebook comments in response to her post. But the most popular one, based on “likes” from others in the community, encouraged the mom to share that we don’t always have all the answers and to tell her daughter to pray about it.

Generally speaking, I couldn’t agree more that we need to acknowledge to our kids that God hasn’t told us everything we’d like to know and that there are some things we just don’t have answers for. I tell my kids this frequently…when they ask questions there truly aren’t answers for.

But we do our kids an incredible disservice when they ask questions that do have biblical answers and we either 1) tell them no one knows, or 2) give them a wrong answer.

In this case, the Bible absolutely does give us an answer. And if we fail to give our kids that answer, they may eventually find the skeptic’s answer to this and related questions more compelling: that God is immoral and the Bible supports human sacrifice…


Why Did God Tell Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?