My response is in Green:
Let me ask you a question. Did Abraham know the answer? I don't think so, I think that this test showed Abraham how important God was to him. I also think that the whole test was an object lesson, not only for Abraham but for us. Look at how God told Abraham about the test:
(Genesis 22:2 NIV) Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
Notice anything? God stressed that this was Abraham's only son, whom he loved. Now look at this:
(John 3:16 NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Notice anything now?
God was showing Abraham and us just how much He loves us to have sent His only Son to die for us. Now look at this:
(Genesis 22:13-14 NIV)  Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
God provided the sacrifice so that Isaac did not have to be killed. This is a picture of the Lamb of God being provided for our sins. Of course that Lamb of God is Jesus Christ. But it does not stop there. Notice what Abraham called the place "The LORD will Provide. Then notice that it is said that to this day (when this was written by Moses) this place was called "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." That might not mean much until you know a few other facts. The mountain that Abraham took Isaac to was called Mount Moriah, as we see from the first passage I quoted. Do you know where the Temple was built in Jerusalem? On Mount Moriah. In fact that is why the Dome of the Rock is there today, because the Muslims also count Abraham as their father and this is where they believe, as do Jews and Christians that Abraham was going to sacrifice his son. Now think about that. Who was sentenced to death on that mountain and was crucified right there? Jesus was. So what they said all those years was true, on that mountain God did provide the perfect Lamb to take away the sins of the world.
Now that you know all of that, do you see what was going on with Abraham? Every time a Jew sacrificed a lamb after that they were saying that they believed that God would eventually provide the perfect sacrifice for their sins. This was all a picture of what God planned to do. They did not realize it at the time, but He even showed them that the Messiah would be His only Son.
Yes God knew what Abraham would do, but afterwards Abraham knew what he would do and also what God would do.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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