What would have happened to the Jewish religion if Abraham had died in early childhood?
Where would we be today if Abraham had died in his early childhood? He would never have lived to realize that the idols in his father’s idol shop are false gods. He would never have smashed those idols, and the Jewish concept of one God with no shape or form, who is eternal and almighty, who alone created the universe would not have been realized.
Or would it?
Abraham could see the entire manufacturing process by which idols were sculpted from huge stone blocks. He saw the idols as they were gradually carved into graven images and reasoned that these blocks of stone could not be gods. Abraham was first and foremost a philosopher, using reasoning to draw logical conclusions.
Does that mean that no one else later in history could ever arrive at the same conclusion that stone idols cannot be gods? Jews always like to answer a question with another question: If Johannes Kepler had died in early childhood, never living to make his discovery in the year 1605 that the earth orbits the sun, does that mean that no one would ever make that discovery? In fact, the earth had already been orbiting the sun for billions of years. Johannes Kepler just happened to be the first person to realize that.
If Albert Einstein had died in early childhood, never living to describe the relationship between matter and energy with the equation e=mc2, does that mean that no physicist would ever come to that same conclusion? The answer is that if Abraham had not come to the realization that idols cannot be gods, then someone else sometime later in history certainly would have, and the Jewish concept of one God with no shape or form, who is eternal and almighty, who alone created the universe would still be the core belief of all monotheistic religions today. The Jewish religion would certainly have different customs and rituals without Abraham, but the monotheistic concept of one God with no shape or form was inevitable to humanity. This is our theological manifest destiny. Our purpose in life: to love the one God who created the universe, would still have been realized.