In Genesis we have this accounting of the actions of Abraham:
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He 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 that I shall show you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.
When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.’ So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham lived at Beer-sheba.
Now, most will fixate on the actions of Abraham in this story, saying that is is a testament to his faith. *yawn* Ok - if you want to dwell on humans and their actions at the exclusion of God, then go right ahead. This story, however, is more about God and His actions than anything else.
Let's look at the events here - God asks Abraham to sacrifice a son. Abraham sets about doing so. That Abraham would do what God is asking is not the important part of this tale; in fact, it's not the least bit interesting. Ho-hum...people do what God asks. BORING. Dude - many before you and after you are going to do what God asks...so that can't be the point here. You'd never know it, if you endured yet another silly sermon on the supposed faith meaning behind this story.
So let's look closer, at the interesting stuff. Isn't it interesting that God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son and then we don't hear from God after that?? Seriously. Dude has angels on hand afterwards. For being a hands-on God when it comes to ordering people around, God is sure hands-off when it comes to slicing and dicing the kidlets. Hey, I can't be bothered with that unimportant crap - better send an angel to deal with it blah blah blah blah.
I feel sorry for the angel. Dude has no clue that Abraham is fully intent on doing Friday the 13th on Issac. OMG! Judgement call here! Fricken hell! The Angel calls off the horror show and everyone is ok until Muslims and Jews decide to square off forever. How nice.
The bottom line is that this is not a story about a person, it's a story about God - God the way the ancient Jews viewed God. God asks Abraham to Kill his son, and then brings in the angel to call it off at the last moment. Why? It's because God has no idea what Abraham is going to do. God has not a clue that the fool is going to follow through on the horror show he intends upon his son - so, an angel is there for damage control just in case stupid ass goes through with it.
This story is about God. God doesn't pre-plan what we do; doesn't know what we're going to actually do, even if there's a direct order to do something as nutty as kill your son. This is a story about how God behaves, and the OT and NT is full of stories that back this up...you just gotta read it, instead of bringing your pre-conceived crap to the story and imposing your little horror show upon The Scriptures.