January 3 - Abraham

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3 - Abraham

The three major religions in the world trace their ancestry to Abraham - Jews through his son, Isaac; Muslims through his son, Ishmael and Christians through faith (Galatians 3:6-7, 29).

Abram was born to Terah 290 years after the flood.  Lifespans had grown quite a bit shorter and children were born around 30 years to each of the nine men between Shem (Noah’s son) and Abram.

Think about how short a period of time 290 years is.  That’s 1752 if you look back from this year.  In 1752, Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity.  It had been 132 years since the Pilgrims had set foot on North American soil.  Things change quickly in short periods of time, yet we can look back on that amount of history and grasp the changes.

The world had repopulated after the flood in 290 years.  People had migrated to better lands and expanded the population centers.

In Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:28), Terah lived with three sons – Haran, Abram and Nahor.

Terah took off with Abram, Sarai and Terah’s grandson, Lot, who was the son of Haran. Haran had died already.  They were headed to Canaan.  Remember that the land of Canaan was that of the descendants of Ham, the son that Noah cursed.  Terah decided to settle before they got there and ended up dying there.  Abram, however, heard from the Lord that he should leave and go where the Lord would send him.

The great covenant of the people of Abraham was begun in Genesis 12:1-3 (and set forth in Genesis 15:13-18, Genesis 17:9-14), “Go … I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Did you read that last phrase?  While we find that Abraham’s descendants finally become the Israelites through Isaac and then Jacob; we also discover that through these people the entirety of the earth will be blessed.

Abraham was blessed and his descendants became as numerous as the stars in the sky.  Through him the covenant action of circumcision was introduced, claiming that these people belonged to God.  He had two sons – Ishmael and Isaac, he trusted God when told to sacrifice his son, he buried his wife and married another (Keturah – Genesis 25:1).  He lived a long life (175 years) and when he died, his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, came together and buried him with Sarah.

God had committed to a relationship with the descendants of Abraham.  The covenant was in place.  History was being written.