One of the main concepts of the Bible as I’ve come to know is trust in God rather than our own human means. Throughout the Old Testament, we see the stories of people struggling to just trust God. Likewise, we see a pivotal concept in Abram’s story:
He believed in Yahweh, who credited it to him for righteousness.–Genesis 15:6
This is a simple verse with a rather profound meaning. Simply believing in God was Abram’s righteousness; not knowledge, rules, morals, or a religious performance. Did Abram make all the right choices? Absolutely not, neither has anyone else except Jesus. However, it wasn’t Abram’s compliance, it was his belief in God.
God promised Abraham that his lineage would come from Issac, the same son he had, by God’s promise, when he was 100 years old. Shortly before this, Abraham and his wife thought they would help God out by having a son through a servant girl. We see in this instant that God keeps his promises, even when we falter based on our human pursuits.
This leads to some interesting points. Abraham lies to the Egyptians about his wife, yet God returns his wife to him as he had plans to make the nation of Israel from their descendants. Plagues came on Pharaoh so that he would know the seriousness and have no doubt that returning Sarah to Abraham was God’s intent. Again, God keeps his promises to Abraham. It wasn’t dependent on his ability to comply, it was always dependent on God.
Later, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son. As mentioned before, God had already promised Abraham that his lineage would come from Issac. Likewise, God had already proven what he could do. Through these events, Abraham had developed more trust in God. We see this when he states to his servants that both he and Issac would return later and assures Issac that God would provide. Abraham’s increasing trust in God, by God’s fulfillment to this point, assured him that if God could give him a son in he and his wife’s old age, he would also honor his promise that his lineage would come from that same son. Abraham had trust in God that he could even bring Issac back to life.
On an important side note, this is one of the many hints in the Old Testament towards God’s promise to send Jesus: the only son being sacrificed and the promised “seed” or “offspring.”
Again, this is just a general overview of events and there is much more to these scriptures. However, the concepts presented here seem to be the ones that are most often confusing or taken out of context.