Abraham (Day 1)
Meaning of name: Father of many (or a multitude)
First mention in the Bible as Abram: Genesis 11:26
First mention in the Bible as Abraham: Genesis 17:5. Here God renamed Abram to Abraham.
Birth place: Not known specifically; his family was most likely nomadic. When God called him, he lived in a place known as “Ur of Chaldees” which is believed to be located in modern day Iraq.
Wives: Sarai, Hagar, Katura
Children: Ishmael, Isaac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, Shuah
Biblical significance – Is the patriarch of the nation of Israel; received a special covenant from God; practiced faith without sight.
Life span: 175 years
The Bible’s last word on Abraham is of tremendous value and purpose. Consider what James 2, verse 23 says of Abraham:
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
God imputed righteousness to Abraham because of his belief. Also, God called Abraham his friend. God desires obedience from us, so that he can have a relationship with us just as he had with Abraham. Abraham is an excellent example for us to study and to emulate. Abraham exhibited qualities that many people never do: humility, meekness, faith, hope, brotherly love, wisdom, and a desire to seek God. Nevertheless, he was still a sinful man. But, his sin did not separate him from God because he always returned and called upon God. David was known as a man after God’s own heart. Abraham was known as a Friend of God. These are great endorsements of God’s complete and total forgiveness and atonement of sin.
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
WHAT CAN OUR FAMILY LEARN FROM ABRAHAM
God made great promises to Abraham. One, he promised that he would be the father of many nations, and that, in him, all the people of the earth would be blessed. When Abraham died, he had not experienced the fulfillment of this promise. In fact, the fulfillment of this promise would not come for a very long time. Even so, Abraham was faithful to God, believed God’s promises and taught his children to be faithful too. We should learn to be patient and trust in God’s promises, even when they seem to be very far away or nearly impossible.
When Abram saved the king of Sodom, the king of Sodom offered to give Abram whatever he wanted. Abram declined. He stated that he would not let people say he was rich because of the king of Sodom. In other words, he was not greedy or covetous. We should emulate this.
When Melchizedek came to greet Abram after the defeat of Chedorlaomer, a battle that freed Lot, Abram gave Melchizedek tithes from all the spoils. Abram was not sparing or lenient in how he gave, so let us not be.
When confronted with a difficult family challenge involving Lot, his nephew, and strife between their workers Abram practiced humility and wisdom. Instead of Abram taking a position of dominance and demanding to have first choice, Abram allowed Lot to choose whatever part of the land he wanted. Abram did not exercise pride, but exercised meekness, humility and brotherly love. We should do the same.
Abraham spoke with God on many occasions. We should speak with God often.
Abraham built altars to God. These were unique places where Abraham would go to worship and to call upon the Lord. We should build altars, not walls, between us and God. We can do this by setting aside specific times in private places where we can commune with God.
On two separate occasions, Abraham lied to powerful men regarding Sarai. In both cases, he said that she was his sister, not his wife. He did this not only because she was beautiful, but because he was afraid of being killed. In both instances, Abraham showed a lack of faith, and, as a result, he sinned. Both times these wicked men pursued Sarai, and, both times, God protected Sarai. We see, here, that Abraham ended the ordeal by going to God. When we sin, let us remember that God still protects us. So, let us not forget to return to God, quickly.
Hebrews 11:10 tells us “For he [Abraham] looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” We should be looking for the same city, the future temple that is the New Jerusalem.
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