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20121008 Abraham believed in God 亞巴郎信賴天主

God called Abram (Abraham) and said, “Leave your country, your kindred, and your father’s house for a country which I shall show you; and I shall make you a great nation. I shall bless you and make your name famous; you are to be a blessing! I shall bless those who bless you, and shall curse those who curse you, and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you” (Gn 12:1-3).

God made three promises to Abram: first, land and nation; second, kingship and a name; third, blessing for all nations.

These promises were fulfilled later in three covenants: the first promise in the covenant with Moses; the second in the covenant with David; the third through Jesus Christ.

Land and nation

Abram was 75 years old when he went forth from Haran. He entered the land of Canaan, which God promised to give to his descendants.

In ancient times a serious oath was usually sealed with a sacrifice. A solemn way to swear an oath was to cut the sacrifice in two and then walk between the two halves of the sacrifice.

The animals represented the people who were swearing the oath. By their actions, the people were saying may the blood of a person who broke the oath be spilled on the ground like that of the animal.

God condescended to the practice of the time by passing between the halves of the sacrifice. “When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passing between the animals’ pieces” (Gn 15:17).

The firepot and torch represented the presence of God Himself. By passing through the halves, God swore a covenant oath with Abram, promising him the land.

Kingship and a name

God appeared to Abram when he was 99 and said: “For my part, this is my covenant with you: you will become the father of many nations. And you are no longer to be called Abram; your name is to be Abraham, for I am making you father of many nations.

“I shall make you exceedingly fertile. I shall make you into nations, and your issue will be kings” (Gn 17:4-6).

The name “Abraham” means “Father of a multitude.” God established circumcision as an external sign of the covenant.

God told Abraham that his wife Sarah would bear a son. Abraham laughed and said to himself, “Is a child to be born to a man 100 years old, and will Sarah have a child at the age of 90?” (Gn 17:17).

The name “Isaac” means “laugh”. Both Abraham and Sarah laughed when they heard about the birth of Isaac.

Blessing for all nations

Sarah gave birth to Isaac as the Lord had promised. However, God tested Abraham by asking him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering (Gn 22:2).

Gn 22:3-10 describes how Abraham obeyed and carried out God’s order. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son, but the angel of God said, “Do not raise your hand against the boy. Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your own beloved son.”

Because of his faith, God promised that all the nations of the world would be blessed through Abraham (Gn 22:16-18).

Isaac is a type or figure of Christ. The births of Isaac and Christ were foretold by God. Isaac was the well-beloved son of Abraham and Christ was the well-beloved Son of the Father.

Isaac carried the wood for his own sacrifice and Christ carried His own wooden cross. Isaac was tied on the pile and Christ was nailed to the cross. Abraham received Isaac back alive, and Christ rose from the dead.





古時,嚴肅的誓言要以祭獻作確認:立誓人把祭品一分為二,並從中走過 —— 祭品代表立誓人,他們從祭品屍骸中走過,意味一旦毀誓,立誓人的命運,就如祭品般灑血而亡 。