Sunday, October 24, 2021

Testing Abraham: Justice in Sodom Before Loyalty in the Akedah


Abraham’s dilemma illustrates a calculus of ultimate concern. Only through the confrontation of one’s two primary concerns can one ascertain which is ultimate. Abraham’s top two commitments were loyalty to God and loyalty to justice. Heretofore, they had converged one reinforcing the other. God constructs a test to see which will emerge supreme. The test makes God appear unjust to see which way Abraham sways; unwavering commitment to justice or unwavering commitment to God. Paradoxically, by siding with justice Abraham validates his election by God. Thus, the story of Abraham testing God’s commitment to justice turns out to be also a story of God testing Abraham’s commitment to justice.

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