Summary: The Call of Abraham
Don’t be a loser Genesis 11:27 to 12:8
We tend to overlook the Old Testament – and we do so at our peril. Remember it was Jesus’ Scripture and the Scripture to which he alluded when he said: “It is written…”
I’d like to take time over Lent to look at the person of Abraham – a figure from which the three great religions of this world claim descendency – The Jewish Faith, Christianity and Islam
1. The Mission
Abraham as rightly been called the Father of all who believe. (Rom 4:11)
In other words: Abraham is the father of the faithful.
The New Testament uses Abraham’s experiences as the historical basis for teaching justification by faith
St Paul writes in Gal 3:6-9
6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
And further in Rom 4:13
13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
Abraham’s faith resulted in ACTION. It was not just head knowledge.
Faith - what is it?
Faith is responding to the Word of God.
A mnemonic for faith:
In other words 100% commitment.
1.1 Who was Abraham?
27 This is the account of Terah.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.
31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
Genesis 12 The Call of Abram
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."
4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring [a] I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD , who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD .
Abram was descended from Noah through his son Shem (Gen 11:10-27).
The term Semetic which is used to describe the Jewish people comes from this Shem.
The name Abram probably means "the father is exalted" .
God changed his name to Abraham as we better know him meaning "father of a multitude of nations"
His father Terah and the rest of his family were idol worshippers (Jos. 24:2)
He was living in Ur of the Chaldees, in Mesopotamia near the Persian Gulf
Ur of the Chaldees
Let us look at the city of Ur from archaeological records:
1) it was the ancient capital of Sumer
2) it was one of the wealthiest and largest cities
(C.L.Wooley showed in his excavations from 1922 to 1934)
3) It was the centre of commerce.