Abraham’s life was filled with many examples of a man who saw God as his protector. Are there risks in not putting our faith in God? Was our faith more important in the ancient world than it is presently? “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went” (Hebrews 11:8). God can give us security with all moves that we make. Faith gave Abraham his security.
Abraham’s faith pleased God who made him the founder of the Jewish nation. His name was originally Abram and God changed his name to Abraham to indicate a clear separation from the pagan world (Genesis 17:5). The new name, according to biblical history means “father of multitudes” which was part of God’s promise to Abraham that he would have many descendants. He saw a significant test of faith in God with the birth of Isaac, his promised son. He was 99 years old at the time (Genesis 11:30; 17:1-14).
Abraham’s story begins in Genesis 11, where his family’s relationships are recorded. How did God describe Abraham? Verse 6 in Genesis 15 tells us that Abraham believed the Lord who counted him as being righteous because of his faith. He was undoubtedly respected by others and became more successful after his faith increased. This fact is a major important message to us as we seek ways to follow God’s rules.
In this story we also learn that God desires dependence with faith increasing in Him and certainly faith in our ability to please Him. We must continue to ask Him for wisdom and strength as often as possible. God’s plan has always been to make Himself known to all of us.
His biographical sketch is mostly told from the book of Genesis, but Abraham is also mentioned in Exodus 2:24; Luke 3:34; Acts 7:2-8 and in other known references. Was Abraham young at the time he followed God’s plan? NO, he was 74 years old! We know that God can use us at any age or time that we make ourselves available. How was Abraham’s faith best recognized? How about his being a blessing to all families of the earth as stated in Genesis 12:3? With God’s promise of an heir who was not Abraham’s servant, (Genesis 15:4), a covenant was created insuring all that he needed to fulfill this well-known promise. Also in Genesis 15 God promised to be Abraham’s shield and reward while being asked not to be fearful.
At age 99 the Lord appeared to Abraham as written in Genesis 17 and reaffirmed His covenant promise of a son from him and his aged wife. How did Abraham respond? He laughed in disbelief! Scientific information would render the promise comical, but with God all things are possible at any time.
Because of the many fascinating and important events in Abraham’s life, when some of Abraham’s trials and victories are read, they may speak to our own situations. We can learn so much about this man whose life has inspired many. May we be challenged to grow in faith as we continue reading Scriptures!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.