Our church family is reading through the first five books of the Bible together in ninety days. We invite you to join us as we believe this will be a time that will change our lives.
Abraham life (Genesis 11:27 – 25:11) is important. Today, Abraham is honored as the father of three “religions of the Book” – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Today, you can drive by synagogues, mosques, and churches – all of which consider themselves children of Abraham. Jews, Muslims, and Christians have named their children “Abraham” for 4,000 years in honor of Abraham’s place in all three religions. You will not be able to understand the world itself if you don’t understand this man’s story.
Abraham was one of three brothers who hailed from the southern part of present day Iraq. His life was multifaceted as he often lied by telling people his wife was really his sister in order to save his life. Not only was he wealthy, but he would mount a small army to defeat five kings to save his nephew’s family (Genesis 13). God changed his name from Abram, which meant, “father of many,” to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” He abandoned his son, Ishmael, and Hagar, causing the two to flee into the desert (Genesis 21:1-21). His wife, Sarah, gave birth at 90 years of age and God later asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). Thankfully, God later provided an animal for sacrifice in Isaac’s place. Abraham’s stellar life was capped off by being the first Jewish man to own land in the Promised Land. This one man is chosen out of all the families of the earth, and this one man receives an avalanche of blessing cascading one after another on him.
There are two features you should give close attention:
First, Abraham’s life is intentionally placed squarely in the center of Genesis. The book of Genesis is broken up into eleven sections. Each section is bracketed by telling the story of one generation. There are five stories of five generations in front of Abraham, and there are five stories of five generations behind Abraham. Again, Abraham’s story is placed intentionally in the center of Genesis. God wants you to focus on His choice of this one man and this one family.
Second, God tightens the focus on Abraham’s life. In the chapters before Genesis 12, God seems to be painting with the world as His canvas. Yet, in Genesis 12, we leave the broader perspective of the world as God focuses His grace on one man only – Abraham. God’s actions to fix the problems of the world are concentrated through Abraham and his family.