From Eternity Past


Chapter 11—Abraham, the Father of All Believers

This chapter is based on Genesis 12.

After Babel, idolatry again became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham of the line of Shem and made him the keeper of His law for future generations. God has ever preserved a remnant to preserve the precious revealings of His will. The son of Terah became the inheritor of this holy trust. Uncorrupted by the prevailing apostasy, he steadfastly adhered to the worship of God. The Lord communicated His will to Abraham and gave him a knowledge of His law and of salvation through Christ. EP 74.1

There was given to Abraham the promise, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” To this was added the assurance that of his line the Redeemer of the world should come: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Yet, as the first condition of fulfillment, there was to be a test of faith; a sacrifice was demanded. EP 74.2

The message of God came to Abraham, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee.” Abraham must be separated from the influence of kindred and friends. His character must be peculiar, differing from all the world. He could not even explain his action so as to be understood by his friends. His motives were not comprehended by his idolatrous kindred. EP 74.3

Abraham's unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith in all the Bible. See Hebrews 11:8. Relying upon the divine promise, he abandoned home and kindred and native land and went forth to follow where God should lead. “By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob.” Hebrews 11:9. EP 74.4

There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his kindred, and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He had no question to ask concerning the land of promise—whether the soil was fertile, the climate healthful. The happiest place on earth was the place where God would have him to be. EP 75.1

Many are still tested as was Abraham. 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 providence. They may be required to abandon a career that promises wealth and honor, and separate from kindred to enter upon what appears to be a path of self-denial and sacrifice. God has a work for them to do; the influence of friends and kindred would hinder it. EP 75.2

Who is ready at the call of Providence to renounce cherished plans, accept new duties, and enter untried fields? He who will do this has 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. EP 75.3

The call from heaven first came to Abraham in “Ur of the Chaldees,” and in obedience he moved to Haran. Thus far his father's family accompanied him. Here Abraham remained till the death of Terah. EP 75.4