Friday, April 17, 2015

All the ways the Lord saved Abraham from being sacrificed

15 And as they lifted up their hands upon me [Abraham], that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;
16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;
17 And this because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; therefore I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abraham, my son, to take away thy life.
18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.
20 Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea. And the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh; which Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood.  (Abraham 1:15-20)

In these verses we can see about six different ways the Lord saved Abraham when he was about to be sacrificed.  Some of them were related to his precarious position and others were of a type that continued longer.

1) His bands were loosed so he could move freely.

2) He was told the Lord would destroy “him who hath lifted up his hand against thee.”    The Lord smote the murderous priest who was trying to kill Abraham, to confirm the wrongness of human sacrifice and His protection of Abraham.  This saved him from being the subject of a continued manhunt once he was saved from that particular prospect of becoming a human sacrifice.

3) The Lord threw down the altars of all the false gods to show His displeasure with their human sacrifices and discourage them from such usage in the future.

4) He was told he would be taken by the Lord away from his father’s house, since they were obviously wicked and consenting to his death.  This would take him from their evil influence.

5) He was told the Lord would lead him by the hand, which would be really reassuring when Abraham didn’t know what would happen.  (Think of a blind person led by the hand or elbow, following gentle tugs.)

6) He was told the Lord would take him and put upon him “my name, even the Priesthood,” which would increase his spiritual safety, since he would have to be worthy and spiritually prepared for that.

So many different ways of saving!  Some of them were immediate, some were more long-term and ongoing.  This makes me wonder if we can see in our lives all the different ways the Lord is saving us.

Today let’s try to discern those different ways the Lord’s salvation is in our lives.


Clifford said...

Very perceptive. I had never considered that. I wish more of an effort would be made to uplift the powerful text of the Book of Abraham not only as an authentic document but one with application to our day.

Michaela Stephens said...

I noticed this during my scripture study while my husband and I were in Malaysia. Being in a very foreign country suddenly made me see Abraham in a different way, especially his traveling in a land he'd been promised but never obtained in mortality. I started to see how vulnerable he probably felt as a foreigner and then started to see all these different ways the Lord saved him.