Abraham's Journey of Faith
The story of Abraham begins with Godâ€™s call to travel: â
€œLeave your country, your people and your fatherâ€™s
household and go to the land I will show youâ€� (Genesis 12:
1). God wanted Abraham to separate himself from the familiar
and comfortable and strike out into the world.
And Abraham obeyed. Beginning in the city of Ur, near the
southeastern tip of the Fertile Crescent, in modern-day Iraq, he
moved north to the city of Haran, in todayâ€™s Turkey. When
Godâ€™s call was repeated at Haran, Abraham traveled south
through Syria into current day Israel.
According to Rick Marrs, â€œJourney provides the
overarching metaphor for the patriarchal narratives. Journey
says something significant about the life of faith and our
relationship with God.â€�
Three promises were connected with Godâ€™s call to
Abraham. He was promised descendants (â€œI will make you
into a great nationâ€�), blessing (â€œI will bless you; I will
make your name greatâ€�), and blessing for others (â€œand
you will be a blessingâ€�).
At the time, Abraham was 75 years old, and he had no
children. Thus his journey became a journey of faith, of trust in
a God who makes promises.
Despite incredible odds, Abraham became the father of three
distinct groups of people who represent three major world
religions. Through his first son, Ishmael, Abraham became the
father of the Arabs, the followers of Islam. Through his second
son, Isaac, the son of the promise, Abraham became the father
of the Israelites or Judaism. And through his faith, Abraham
became the father of Christians who are justified by faith (see
God credited Abrahamâ€™s faith as righteousness, and he
does the same for us. As Marrs puts it, â€œGod pronounces
his relationship with Abram [Abraham] â€˜rightâ€™ because
Abram has embraced the call.â€�
Abrahamâ€™s faith journey parallels our own. We, as well,
have a promised home, we have the blessings of being children
of God, and we bless others. Like Abraham, we are made
right by God--not because of our own righteousness, but
because God kept his promise and provided the means of
making us right through Jesus.
Though our journey takes us through periods of deep faith, as
well as times of weakness and fear, we, like Abraham, are Godâ
€™s children when we accept his call and follow his way,
wherever it leads.