Summary: Lessons we can learn from the life of Abraham
Abraham, a man Challenged
a man of Faith, a man of Promise
In the coming weeks we are going to be looking at Abraham, a man Challenged, a man of Faith, a man of Promise. He was a man who was prepared to shun many of the conventions of his day, to walk with God. He had little if anything that we would consider to be "Scripture", he had no permanent in dwelling of the Holy Spirit, he had very few examples of others who had walked with God, he also lived in an age when the cross of Jesus Christ was little more than a speck on horizon of time, yet he believed God. I sometimes wonder what I would have done and believed if I had been in the same place as Abraham. Yet this man is to be the Father of two nations, the Jews and the Arabs, also by faith now the whole household of those who are born again by the Spirit of God, faith and the atoning work of Jesus.
Our first reference to him is found with him in Ur of Chaldeans, still living in the family unit with his father Terah. He is married to Sarai and we are told that his brother Haran had died and so Abram took in his nephew Lot.
In the reading of the scripture, you soon discover that names hold great importance for many reasons. The name Abram hold the meaning of "High Father." It comes from two words the first of which (AWB) means "Father of Height,” i.e. lofty, the Chief Father, the principle Father. Secondly (ROOM), which holds the meaning to be high, to rise or raise, to be exalted, to be brought up to some form of exalted position. This is an interesting name as Terah (his father) being a rank heathen who worshipped idols, whilst giving a name which would help in his son’s social status, nevertheless recognized that such climbing can bring a big-headedness in an individual, as the name given to his son can also mean "BREEDER of WORMS." There is the sense that no matter what one may have by way of material possessions, social status, self-opinion along with others acclamation, if we lets that determine one’s picture of self, then you are little more than a breeder of worms.
Abram was living in Ur of the Chaldeans; this was a mighty city, a city that was a centre of culture, a city that was a centre of pagan worship of the moon god. A city of great commerce, who’s name means "a region of light." A Luminous place that by it being a centre of human achievement considered itself to be a glorious storm trooper of innovative thinking, a bearer of its own light, one that cause the rise of new horizons and new light. It was a place that it would seem from its name, and the fact that Abram was from there, had refused the light of God and had embraced the darkness of man. No wonder God called them out of that place. "Come away from this place of human carnality, come away from this place that sees itself without the need for My pure enlightenment, come away for this place that sees itself as the ultimate in religious, social, economic, educational, original thinking and governmental sophistication, leave that place of darkness and go to the land of the "Humiliated."" The name Canaan means "Humiliated, to bend the knee, to be vanquished, to bring do into subjection and be humble, being self-subdued."
In Canaan there is a place called Bethel, which means, "House of God." Not just any god, but The Almighty God, who is all strength and might. Leave that place which thinks that it is light but is proud and dark. Come to the place of humiliation wherein you will find the true House of God, He is the only true and pure light. But Abram was lead by his father to Haran, instead of going straight to the place where he would find the true light, he is side tracked to another place of human endeavor, Haran that means "MOUNTAINEER".
There he stays until the death of his father; it took a death for Abram to once again hear the voice of God. Notice that God says to Abram, "Get out of your country, from you kindred and from your father’s house." He had left the city but he had not left the land. He had left the central place of carnality, but he had not departed from the influence of that carnality. Yet upon the death of his father, the voice comes once again to go into the land of Canaan, where he will meet with the Almighty and here the promises of his God, which are true. Notice also that God not only tells him to depart from the past and its holds but to enter into the promise. It was upon Abram’s obedience that eventually he comes to Shechem, a place of burdens, here once again God appears to Abram and tells him that the land that he now sees, will become the inheritance to Abram’s descendents.