Many of us remember, “Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had Father Abraham, and I am one of them. So are you. So let’s just praise the Lord.” and all the accompanying motions. The next section of the Biblical story focuses to Abraham. We first learn that before God changed his name, it was Abram. We also learn that God gave Abram and his descendants three promises: (1) give them a land, make them a great nation and name, and finally bless the world through them. Abraham’s story sets up the trajectory for the rest of the story. Namely, how God would bring redemption to a broken creation. We see in Abraham the roots to the nation of Israel, but even more, we see the roots of the people of faith.
Read Genesis 12:1-20
Sometimes, Satan is no bigger than 6 inches tall. Enough to stand on our shoulders and whisper words of doubt and discouragement in our ear. Abram lived in a place that was the equivalent of a modern-day metropolis. It also seemed feasible that he had a sizeable inheritance coming to him. He also had his entire life set up in the land of Ur of the Chaldees. Still, in an amazing act of faith, Abram packed up his house and family to follow God’s direction. Perhaps, Satan sat down on Abrams’ shoulder and whispered, “That’s that.” He was leaving a luxurious world for the unknown.
Abram lived in faith, and eventually, God would change his name to Abraham as a reminder that God would keep His promises. Abraham did not seem to doubt God, but he did have trouble understanding how God would fulfill his plan. Sometimes he tried to help. We see an instance of this at the end of our reading today. Abraham would lie to Pharoah about Sarah in an attempt to preserve their life. We also see two other times where Abraham would try to help God out with fulfilling the promises of having children (since he and his wife were childless and super old)! He decided to seek to adopt one of his servants as his son and then had a child with another woman that his wife gave him. Whew! Finally, God gave Abraham and Sarah, their son. God keeps his promises but fulfills them in ways that are beyond our understanding. We are just called to be faithful and live a life aligned to what we believe.