The Story of Abraham
God makes a promise and brings forth a nation of chosen people!
While living in Ur of Chaldea, Abraham - then called "Abram" - listened the Lord's instructions to leave the land of his fathers and go "unto a land that I will show thee." There, the Lord promised Abram that He would "make of you a great nation . . ."
When Abram went to the land the Lord had made for him "was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." The one thing Abram did not have was a son of his own to give it all to someday. Still, Abram had faith in the promise that God had made, even though he was getting very old.
Abram had great faith in God and one day the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said to God, "I have no son to pass on to." The Lord said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars... So shall your children be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children... perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Hagar became pregnant with Abram's child and when this happened, Sarai no longer liked the idea. Sarai stopped being nice to Hagar and she ran away into the desert. The Angel of the Lord met her there and told her to return to Abram. Hagar returned and bore a son named Ishmael. He was promised to have many descendants, but Abram and Sarai had to wait on God still.
God said, “...your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
Abraham continued to have faith, but could hardly believe he would have a son of his own at such an old age... but he did!
Then one day God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love - Isaac - and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” So without Issac knowing why, Abraham did as he was told and took the boy to the mountain.
When the firewood was gathered, Isaac said, “The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Abraham built and alter and put his son on it. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” *God knew that the animal was only a replacement for the payment of sin and that one day, God must offer up His Own Son as full payment for all who believe in Jesus.
The angel of the LORD said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Adapted from Genesis - Chapter 12