Abram to Abraham| prt. 2

Posted on March 29, 2009 by

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Picking up where we left off |

Terah, Abram’s father, has died in Haran and now Abram’s house (and Lot) can move on toward the land that God has called them to inhabit.

Along the way Abram screws up. To sum up his… uhm … less than bright moments. He deviates from his journey due to famine and enters egypt. Where he allows his wife to be married off, as his sister,  to the pharaoh. God saves Abram’s butt and brings plagues on pharaoh’s house until pharaoh figures it out.

As a result of not fully “leaving his kindred…” Abram and Lot had to seperate because thier herdsman were fighting over grazing rights, etc… and Abram lets Lot choose which land he shall take. Lot chooses the valley of the jordan river which is “like the garden of the LORD”. So Abram is in the Cannanite wilderness. Then he has to go rescue Lot from some kings that sacked Sodom and Gomorrah and took Lot and his possessions off as spoils of war

God’s Provision

After Abram returns Lot to his land Abram is met by a priest king, Melchizedek. Melchizedek blesses Abram, and Abram gives him a tenth of everything. He then leaves the spoils with the kings of the area. God comes to Abram in vision and promises him offspring and makes a covenant with Abram. The interesting thing about this covenant is that unlike the normative covenant, where the two parties would meet in the middle of the ceremony, God does it all Himself. In this God promises to uphold the covenant despite Abram’s faithfulness.

Then Sarai gets impatient and has Hagar sleep with Abram and we get Ishmael, who then fathers a nation that is at odds with Israel to this day.

Finally Abram turns 99 years old and in that year God comes to Abram again and renews his covenant. He also Changes Abram’s name from

Abram: High Father

to

Abraham: Father of a Multitude

and his wife’s name from

Sarai: contentious or my princess

to

Sarah: princess

After the name changing vision Abraham, in keeping with the covenant, circumsizes all the men of his household (himself being 99 when he was circumsized)

At this point you may be asking, I know I am, ” Why are we simply doing a flythrough of Abraham’s life? Isn’t this supposed to be about worship?” But to look at Abraham’s life with the lens of worship on is fascinating. To see how faithful and trusting he is at times. Then to look at the times when he lets his idol of personal safety control him, when he says of his wife “she is my sister”. This man does amazing things and then he screws up in ways that we would like to think that we wouldn’t.

What I got out of this, and what I would like you to get out of this, is that although we may fail God (and we will) the point is to strive towards His glory. Abraham didn’t give up, he didn’t leave Sarah (even after he married her off as his sister a second time… yep twice, I bet she never really let that one go) he didn’t give up on the land that God had promised him. He persevered. But he didn’t stop and wait either. He was active, he was focused, he was driven. We need to look at Abraham and see ourselves, not any moralist teaching about how to do what is right, and draw encouragement from the fact one of the patriarchs was credited righteousness despite his failings.

praise God for His mercy and grace, in the name of His son Jesus.

Amen

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Posted in: Theology