Beginning of the End


Abraham, the Father of All Believers

This chapter is based on Genesis 12.

After Babel, idolatry again became nearly universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened sinners to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham, a descendant of Shem, and made him the keeper of His law for future generations. God has always had a remnant to preserve the precious revealings of His will, and Abraham inherited this holy trust. Uncorrupted by the widespread apostasy, he faithfully persisted in worshiping God. The Lord communicated His will to Abraham and gave him a knowledge of His law and of salvation through Christ. BOE 52.1

God promised Abraham, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.” To this was added the assurance that the Redeemer of the world would come from his descendants: “In you all families of the earth shall be blessed.” Yet, as the first condition of fulfillment, there was to be a test of faith; a sacrifice was demanded. BOE 52.2

The message of God came to Abraham, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” Abraham must be separated from the influence of relatives and friends. His character must be distinct, differing from all the world. He could not even explain his action so that his friends would understand. His idolatrous family did not understand his motives. BOE 52.3

Abraham’s unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith in all the Bible (see Hebrews 11:8). Relying on the divine promise, he abandoned home and family and native land and went out to follow where God would lead. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob” (Hebrews 11:9). BOE 52.4

There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his relatives, and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He did not ask questions concerning the land of promise—whether the soil was fertile, the climate healthful. The happiest place on earth was the place where God wanted him to be. BOE 52.5

Many are still tested as Abraham was. They do not hear the voice of God speaking directly from heaven, but He calls them by the teachings of His Word and the events of His leading. They may be required to abandon a career that promises wealth and honor and to separate from family in order to start out on what appears to be a path of self-denial and sacrifice. God has a work for them to do; the influence of friends and family would hinder it. BOE 52.6

Who is ready, at the call of God, to renounce cherished plans, accept new duties, and enter unfamiliar fields? Those who will do this have the faith of Abraham and will share with him that “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17. See also Romans 8:18). BOE 53.1

The call from heaven first came to Abraham in “Ur of the Chaldeans,” and in obedience he moved to Haran. His father’s family accompanied him this far and Abraham remained in Haran until the death of Terah. BOE 53.2