Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called. "Yes," he replied. "Here I am."
"Take your son, your only son -- yes, Isaac, whom you love so much -- and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you."
The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go.
On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance.
"Stay here with the donkey," Abraham told the young men. "The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back."
Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire. As the two of them went on together,
Isaac said, "Father?" "Yes, my son," Abraham replied. "We have the wood and the fire," said the boy, "but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?"
"God will provide a lamb, my son," Abraham answered. And they both went on together.
When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood.
And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to kill his son as a sacrifice to the LORD.
At that moment the angel of the LORD shouted to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Yes," he answered. "I'm listening."
"Lay down the knife," the angel said. "Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me."
Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son.
Abraham named the place "The LORD Will Provide." a This name has now become a proverb: "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
Then the angel of the LORD called again to Abraham from heaven,
"This is what the LORD says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by my own self that
I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies,
and through your descendants, b all the nations of the earth will be blessed -- all because you have obeyed me."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)