How Do You Explain to a Child Why God Asked Abraham to Sacrifice His Son?

Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac? Brett shares how to explain this well-known biblical account to a child.



0:06 So how do you explain to a child why God

0:09 commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? And

0:14 notice the key part of this question is

0:15 how do you explain this to a child? So this

0:18 is this is a little bit of a challenge I

0:20 think because of the age level, but let

0:23 me give this a shot here. I think there's

0:24 a couple things that we can say. Number

0:26 one, we could ask our kids,

0:28 "Well, did Abraham actually kill Isaac? Was

0:32 Isaac ever killed?" No. And so I think we

0:37 can use this question to illustrate that

0:40 God never had any intention for Abraham

0:43 to can actually kill Isaac but that this

0:46 was a test of his faith, right? And I

0:51 think what we want to do

0:53 secondly is point our children to other

0:56 scripture, right? Start back in Genesis 12

0:59 don't start in Genesis 22 with the

1:02 actual command to kill Isaac, but start in

1:05 Genesis 12 with God's promise to Abraham,

1:08 right? Start with the Abrahamic covenant

1:10 and what did God promise to do? Bless all

1:13 the nations of the world through Abraham

1:15 and then to play that out in the

1:19 passages of Scripture leading up to

1:21 Genesis 22 where Abraham and [Sarah]

1:26 have Isaac, and it's through Isaac that

1:29 this promise will be fulfilled. And then

1:32 you get to Genesis 22. But then we also

1:35 then jump out to Hebrews. The book of

1:38 Hebrews which sheds more light on this

1:40 and we discover another very important

1:42 thing that we need to communicate to our

1:44 children on this is that there was a

1:46 testing of faith here, right? And Abraham is

1:49 held up as a model of the kind of faith

1:53 that we need to have. In fact, a great

1:55 passage I think to read to

1:57 children would be Hebrews chapter 11

2:00 starting in verse 17 going through verse

2:03 19. It says, "By faith Abraham, when he was

2:06 tested, offered up Isaac and he who had

2:09 received the promises was offering him

2:12 up his only begotten

2:14 son. It was he to whom it was said in

2:17 Isaac your descendants shall be called.

2:19 He, and and this is a key passenge here

2:21 verse 19, he considered that God is able

2:24 to raise people even from the dead from

2:27 which he also received him back as a

2:30 type. So the faith of Abraham is held up

2:32 here and think about the kind of faith

2:34 that Abraham had. And I think this would

2:36 resonate with

2:38 younger kids, right, who aren't so jaded

2:40 by the materialism of our culture.

2:41 Abraham believed that even if he did

2:45 sacrifice Isaac, that God had the power

2:48 to raise him back. That's how great his

2:50 faith was. And I think actually children

2:54 are a model of this kind of faith to us,

2:56 right? I think children would probably

3:00 get that in their kind of wonder

3:03 at God and how great God is and how big

3:06 God is they say, "Yeah that's actually

3:08 that no problem. God can do

3:11 all things. God is all-powerful." And so

3:13 this is a model of faith. And so I think

3:17 the second thing we can say is that this

3:19 command is given to test the faith of

3:21 Abraham and he passes with flying colors.

3:24 And then the third thing I think

3:26 we can say to our children is we can

3:28 show them how this was a picture, an

3:32 example, of what God would eventually do.

3:35 Even though Abraham didn't give his only

3:39 begotten son, didn't kill and sacrifice

3:41 his only begotten son, God did. And so we

3:45 can help our children see that God

3:48 begins painting this picture, this

3:50 foreshadowing of the coming Messiah, the

3:52 coming Savior, and ultimately in Jesus we

3:55 see this take place where a loving

3:59 father sacrifices his son for the sake

4:02 of others, for the sins of others. And so

4:05 we can say Abraham and Isaac point to a much

4:09 greater reality that only God could

4:11 fulfill. And I think those are some

4:13 things that we can say to help our kids

4:14 understand why God commanded Abraham to

4:16 sacrifice Isaac.

video |
Brett Kunkle