His name means: "Father of a Multitude"
His work: A tender of livestock.
His character: Abraham was a man of faith who followed God even in the most challenging of circumstances.
His sorrow: At times Abraham compromised God's instructions.
His triumph: Abraham obeyed God, and God blessed him with a son in his old age.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 12-23
A Look at the Man
The life of Abraham is a study in faithfulness, obedience, and sometimes blind trust. It's also the story of a God who keeps his covenant promises.
Abram (later named Abraham) and his wife Sarai (later named Sarah) lived in Haran where Abraham was a prosperous livestock owner. By all accounts, he was comfortable. But an order from the living God changed all that.
"Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." God did not mince his words. He didn't even ask Abraham to consider moving. He told him to go. And to make it even more of a challenge, God didn't specify Abraham's destination. He only said, "Go." And then God made Abraham a promise. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you."
It's hard to imagine how shocking this news was to Abraham. And when Sarah heard Abraham's report of what God had said, she must have been overwhelmed. "Leave our home? Go on a journey to nowhere? Have children even though we are barren?"
But Sarah trusted Abraham, just as Abraham trusted God. They said good-bye to their families and, along with their nephew, Lot, their possessions, and a caravan of servants, they set out southwest toward Canaan, the area where Abraham's descendants would call "home" to this day.
Time and again, throughout his life, God tested Abraham's resolve to obey him. And, time and again, God reconfirmed his promise to Abraham—a land, a nation, and a blessing.
Abraham is the most revered of the patriarchs. His name and God's promise of a nation were even recalled as Mary accepted her call to be the mother of Jesus. "God has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever even as he promised."
But Abraham's place in history is not only well established because of the millions who count themselves as his offspring. Nor is Abraham honored because he was a perfect man. He wasn't.
Abraham is the most significant patriarch because of God's call and covenant with him and Abraham's remarkable courage to be obedient.
Reflect On: Genesis 12:10-20
Praise God: For not hiding his plans but revealing his intentions through the promises he has made.
Offer Thanks: For the way you have benefited from this one man’s obedience.
Confess: Your failure at times to believe God’s promises.
Ask God: To enable you to make faith visible through your obedience.
Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.