The Call of Abram
Old Testament Character Study Series
This is our 7th Sunday studying Old Testament Characters. Today, we will look at the story of one of the greatest fathers in the Bible - Abram. A big portion of Genesis has been dedicated to the story of Abram. He was first mentioned in Genesis 11:26 and continued all the way to his death in Genesis 25:8.
He was already 75 years old when we first read about him. There was so little information provided to us about his birth and early childhood. But we know that he was the son of Terah and was born in Ur. Ur was one of the first civilizations of the world. Ur was a prosperous and populated city in Mesopotamia, today’s modern Iraq.
1. God called Abram to follow His direction.
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household 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.” Genesis 12:1-3.
“8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8-9.
· From the human perspective, it is impossible to even have a child at his stage in life, let alone, being the father of a great nation.
· But Abram believed the Lord and he was honored because if his faith.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him.” Romans 4:18.
· God’s promise is unconditional in terms of its ultimate fulfillment of building a great nation and the salvation of Israel.
· On the other hand, it is also conditional in terms of its instantaneous fulfillment. God’s blessings will depend on Abram and his descendants’ obedience.
“7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.” Galatians 3:7.
· God made Abraham the father of believers which partially fulfilled the promise of a great nation.
· The ultimate fulfillment would be when Christ comes to save Israel and establish His Kingdom on the new earth.
2. The call included Abram’s public declaration of his faith.
“7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So, he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.” Genesis 12:7
· God has dominion over everything He created.
· God has chosen the most appropriate land for the coming of Abram’s greatest Seed – the Christ.
“16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” Galatians 3:16.
· God is not constrained to do what pleases Him.
· There is nothing that limits what God can do, except sin.
· Abram built an altar to publicly confess his faith to the Lord.
· We declare our faith in several Biblical ways: worship, baptism, sharing of the gospel (evangelism and mission), making disciples (e.g. bible studies, mentoring, counseling).
3. The call also demonstrates that God can keep His promise.
“10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” Genesis 12:10-13.
· Abram has his own spiritual weaknesses – deceit, lying, self-preservation.
· God addressed Abram’s sins by using its consequences to direct him into the right direction. See Genesis 12:17-19.
· God used that humiliating event to direct Abram back to Canaan and fulfill his promise of giving him a land and descendants.