Maybe I’m crazy but I think Abraham is someone we should remember when we consider the “Christmas Story”. Oh, I realize that the birth of Christ came some 2,000 years after he died, so I’m not suggesting he’s a character in that part of the story. No, where I’m going with this is that Jesus didn’t just come along for no reason; there was a definite reason for His birth and ministry, and that reason is that He came to fulfill God’s covenant with Abraham.
They don’t tell you that in Sunday School, do they?
All right fine; they usually don’t tell you that.
Anyway, not only did Jesus come to fulfill God’s covenant with Abraham, but Abraham is a prime role model for our Christian walk as evidenced by the fact that he is named more than once in the New Testament as such. Consequently, I thought it might be fun to survey his career. Please note that my emphasis is on survey; this isn’t a biography or a commentary on each verse… not even on each scene, just the most important points for an understanding of his role as covenant partner and role model.
We begin our story as Genesis 12 opens; God’s Call of Abraham:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“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.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
So, there is God’s call, coupled with promises, and thus began a remarkable journey for the 75 year old Abram. Personally, I think that the most remarkable part of the entire story is contained in the very next line:
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him (12:4a)
Did you see it? God told Abram to pack up everything and go… and so he did it. Abram actually took God at His word, and took action. It wasn’t any small action, he put everything on the line and set off somewhere and trusted God to keep His promises.
Who actually does that?
Our answer should be that we all do… but would that be a truthful answer?