Summary: Abraham’s Call – Genesis chapter 12 verses 1-9 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). Abraham’s Encounter (vs 1).

(2). Abraham’s Obedience (vs 4-5)

(3). Abraham’s Worship (vs 6-9)


Question: Why study the life of Abraham?

Answer: Just consider these amazing facts & trivia:


• He is revered by the followers of world’s three great religions.:

• Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

• He is the patriarch of the Jewish nation,

• A spiritual father to Christians,

• And Moslems regard him as a mighty prophet.

• Over 3 billion people in the modern world;

• Cite Abraham as the ‘father’ of their religion.

• If you are wondering why, a spiritual father to Christians,

• i.e. Then the apostle Paul clarifies it in Romans chapter 4 verse 16,

• And says that because of Abraham's faith, he is the "father of us all"

• i.e. And again in Galatians chapter 3 verse 7.

• He refers to Christians as “Children of Abraham”


• An interesting point about Abraham is;

• All bloodline Jews of today are descended from him,

• Yet, Abraham himself was not born a Jew* but was Chaldean, a Gentile.

*Who was the first Jew? If by “Jew” we mean “Hebrew,” Abraham was the first Jew. If by “Jew” we mean “of the tribe of Judah,” Judah was the first Jew. If by “Jew” we mean “the first person in the Bible to be referred to as a Jew,” the nameless Jews in 2 Kings chapters 16—25 were the first Jews. Generally speaking, people today use the term Jew to refer to “a person who is of the chosen people of Israel.” With that in mind, Abraham should be considered the first Jew.

• Abraham became and is the founder of the nation of Israel.

• And is therefore considered to be the first Jew.

• In the Old Testament he is called; the “father of Israel” (Exodus chapter 3 verse 15).

In fact we have three names in scripture for Abraham:

• The “father of Israel” (Exodus chapter 3 verse 15).

• The “servant of God” (Genesis chapter 26 verse 24),

• And my favourite description God’s “friend” (Isaiah chapter 41 verse 8),


• He is mentioned by name 308 times in the Old and New Testaments.

• Aside from Moses, no other Old Testament character;

• Is mentioned more in the New Testament than Abraham


• He is the preeminent man of faith in the Bible.

• In God’s hall of fame (Hebrews chapter 11),

• Which is a list of names – great people of God form the Old Testament.

• There is more said in that chapter about the faith Abraham demonstrated;

• Than any of the other of the Old Testament characters mentioned.

• In the narrative account in Genesis;

• God will test Abraham’s faith 10 times.


• He is a man whose life changed the course of world history.

• Think about how your New Testament starts.

• That list of names (genealogies);

• I know it might seem as interesting as reading a telephone directory.

• But think again about how the New Testament begins;

• The first verse of the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel says:

• “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

• When Matthew wants to impress upon us the significance of who Jesus Christ really is,

• He links him with the greatest king—David—and with the founder of Israel—Abraham.


• Abraham had a radical idea, in fact he was the first person to teach;

• That idea or fact is that there was only one God;

• What we call today monotheism – there is only one true God.

• Before Abraham then, people believed in many gods.

• According to Jewish tradition, he was the son of an idol maker!

• Yet Abraham discovered and taught and followed the one true God.


• Abraham like many Bible characters had a name change;

• He started life as ‘Abram’

• That name means "Exalted Father",

• Which may have proven to be an embarrassment as he grew old without any children

• But one day God changed his name to ‘Abraham’ (Genesis chapter 17 verse 5)

• Which means, "father of a multitude"

• And despite his old age, he would live up to the meaning of that name:

• There are believed to be around 14 million Jews in the world today!

• And of course many, many more millions preceded them throughout history.

• That is quite a multitude!

• And as I mentioned earlier:

• Over 3 billion people in the modern world;

• Cite Abraham as the ‘father’ of their religion.

• So he left behind both a physical multitude of decedents;

• As well as a spiritual one!

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