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Special Lectures
Lecture 25 : [Restoration] The Providence Centered on Abraham’s Family 2
Date created : 2015-02-17/ Views : 1043
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The Providential Age for the Foundation of Restoration 4

Lecture 25 Abraham and Isaac's Family

Welcome to the path to happiness, an introduction to the Unification principle. I’m your host, Dr. Tyler Hendricks. 
Our last session ended with Abraham’s failed offering, the chosen people being consigned to slavery, and God about to tell Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. 
Could things get much worse? But we’ll see God and our fathers and mothers of faith make a way out of no way, through some of the most dramatic events in biblical history, which led to this lineage becoming the chosen people to receive the Messiah. So let’s continue where we left off. 
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As Abraham grew old, he had no children. At that time, a couple could bequeath their inheritance to an adopted child, who could receive it on the condition of supporting them and taking care of funeral arrangements. Abraham wanted his slave, Eliezer of Damascus, to be his heir (Gen 15:2). But God did not give permission. As another option, wives who couldn't conceive were allowed to provide a maid who could conceive, as a concubine to their husband in order to receive a child. The newborn was to be given by the maid but to the wife, as the wife’s child. So Sarai gave her maid, Hagar the Egyptian, to Abram as a concubine. Abraham was 86 years old, but he fathered a male child by Hagar, named Ishmael. During those days, Sarai became jealous of Hagar and mistreated her.

When Abram was 99, God told Abram He would help Sarai conceive a child to be named Isaac, that they would be receiving a huge blessing and that the baby must be circumcised. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, who represents “father” in almost all nations of the world, and Sarai's name to 'Sarah.' Sarah became pregnant. When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old, they gave birth to a son and named him 'Isaac.' Isaac was the first boy in Israel's history to be circumcised. Isaac was circumcised 8 days after birth. 
Ishmael and Isaac were 14 years apart. Eventually, due to Sarah's jealousy of Hagar and Ishmael, she persuaded Abraham to cast them into the wilderness. Ishmael is the ancestor of the Arabs, and the story of their survival is holy to Islam. 
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In order to fulfill the foundation of faith that Abraham had failed, God had Abraham and Sarah repeat the restoration of Adam and Eve. Another king, Abimelech, robbed Abraham of his wife, Sarah who posed as his sister. After Abimelech, who represented Satan, robbed Abraham, who represented Adam, of his "sister" who was actually his wife Sarah, who represented Eve, God told him to return her, together with bounteous goods, to Abraham. 
It was then that God required Abraham to offer his son Isaac.

Because Abraham had failed in the symbolic offering, God gave him another chance to complete the symbolic offering through the condition of sacrificing his son, Isaac. Why did God give Abraham a second chance, when there was only one chance given in Adam’s and Noah’s families? 

First, the number three represents completion. Therefore, God's providence to lay the foundation for the Messiah, which began in Adam's family as the first dispensation and continued in Noah's family as the second dispensation, had to conclude in Abraham's family, which was the third dispensation. God's Principle requires that when the providence to lay the foundation for the Messiah takes place for the third time, it must be brought to completion. 
Second, Satan had attacked both Adam and his son Cain, defiling the family over the course of two generations. Hence, according to the principle of restoration through indemnity, God could work to take back Abraham and his son Isaac over the course of two generations. 
Third, Abraham stood on the accumulated merit of Abel's and Noah's faithful hearts. When Abraham was called by God, he stood on the merit of both Abel, who succeeded in the symbolic offering at the formation stage, and Noah, who succeeded in the symbolic offering at the growth stage. Upon this double foundation, Abraham was to make the symbolic offering at the completion stage. Although Abraham failed to cut the doves in half, because he stood on the merit of Abel and Noah's faithful hearts, he received another chance to complete the symbolic offering. 
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Hence, God called Abraham when he was 115 years old and when Isaac was around 15 years old. God said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you (Gen 22:2)." Abraham had absolute faith and was obedient to God's command. 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 for the burnt offering and set out for the land of Moriah which was a 3-day journey. From his home in Beersheba to Mt. Moriah in present-day Jerusalem, is 80 kilometers. When they arrived at Mt. Moriah, Abraham told the servants to stay with the donkey while Abraham went on with Isaac. Isaac carried the wood while Abraham carried the fire and the knife.

At this time Isaac asked Abraham, "Father? We have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering (Gen 22:7)?" Abraham's heart was aching so much that he felt like it was being ripped apart. He simply replied that God would provide the lamb for the burnt offering. 

When they came to the place of which God has told him, Abraham built the altar, laid the wood in order, bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar upon the wood. Then he stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son, but at that moment, the angel of the Lord called to Abraham and said, "Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy! Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son (Gen 22:11-12)." Abraham's zeal to do God's Will and his resolute actions, carried out with absolute faith, love and obedience, lifted him up to the position of already having killed Isaac. Isaac was now severed of all ties to Satan. Because of this God said, "For now I know that you truly fear God (Gen 22:12)" and then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son (Gen 22:13). 
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Because Abraham succeeded in this offering of Isaac, Isaac could carry on the providence of restoration in Abraham's family. Since Abraham had failed to fulfill his responsibility, he was not qualified to repeat the symbolic offering himself. Somehow, God had to find a way to regard Abraham as though he had not failed in the symbolic offering or caused the prolongation of the providence. This is why God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac. Abraham slaying his son was the same as Abraham killing himself.

Accordingly, when God brought Isaac back to life, Abraham was also resurrected to life. He was loosed from the ties with which Satan had bound him when his symbolic offering was defiled. So through the success of Isaac's offering, Abraham and Isaac attained inseparable oneness in their fidelity to God's Will. 

At that time, Isaac was fifteen years old, old enough to carry the wood and ask where the offering was. When Abraham bound him, he could have refused to it and when Abraham raised the knife, he could've refused then as well. But Abraham had absolute faith in God and Isaac showed absolute obedience to his father. Because of their successful offering, their descendent, Solomon was able to construct the Temple. 

Through Isaac's offering, Abraham transferred his providential mission to Isaac. Abraham and Isaac worked together to pull the ram out of the thicket and offer it to God. In this way, Isaac, having inherited Abraham's mission, made the symbolic offering and restored through indemnity the foundation of faith. 
By knowing the heart of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah, we can gain insight into the heart of God and Jesus at the time of the cross. And we gain insight into the heart of all parents as we suffer so that our children might have life. This history also reveals that God has a plan, and that love and oneness with God will always lead to life. 
But God was not done with Abraham, as we will see as we look at what happened with Isaac’s family. 
Thanks for listening, and God bless you.  

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