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and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a fire."
In the place where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, which was once a pleasant and a very fruitful land, there is now nothing but a lake of very salt and bitter water, no plants, or flowers, or trees, or grass, or corn, are there: nothing will grow near it.
To perish, means to die.
To consume, means to burn up.
THE SECOND TRIAL OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH.
GOD loved Abraham, because he had faith: he was called faithful Abraham.
Men have faith when they believe in God, and trust Him, and do what He has told them.
Noah had faith; he believed the word of God, when He told him that He would send the flood, and he built the ark at God's command. The other people in the world had not faith, for they
did not believe that God would send the flood. They went on still in their wickedness, though God had said, that if they did not repent they should perish.
Abraham had faith, when he came out from his own country, and from his father's house, to go into a strange land, he knew not where. Abraham did this, because God commanded him, and because he believed in God's promises, and trusted in God.
Abraham had shown his faith in this and many other ways. But God tried Abraham's faith still
God said to Abraham, "Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am." And God said, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest; and offer him for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
It was a hard trial for Abraham to be told to kill Isaac his son, whom he loved, to offer him up for a burnt offering; but God had commanded it, and therefore Abraham obeyed.
God had said, that in the seed of Isaac all the
families of the earth should be blessed. And Abraham believed that God would surely do as He had promised: he believed that God was able even to raise up Isaac from the dead'.
So Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took Isaac with him, and the wood to make the fire for the burnt offering, and went to the place which God had told him of: "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son." And Isaac said, "Behold the fire and the wood but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide a lamb for a burnt offering.
"So they went both of them together.
"And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on the wood.
1 Heb. xi. 19.
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
"And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I." And the angel said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Him.
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and beheld behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son."
Thus did Abraham again show his faith in God. God had greatly tried him, but Abraham did not fail under the trial. He was ready to do what God commanded, even to offer up his son; the son whom God had said should be the father of many nations. And God loved Abraham for his faith.
"And the angel of the Lord called out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, because thou hast
done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."
Then Abraham returned with Isaac his son to the place where he dwelt.
To multiply, means to make a few become many.
THE MARRIAGE OF ISAAC, AND THE DEATH OF ABRAHAM.
WHEN Sarah, Abraham's wife, was one hundred and twenty-seven years old, she died; and Abraham mourned for Sarah his wife, and wept for her. Then Abraham bought a field, with a cave in it, from the people of that country, that he might