Abraham From The Bible Essay Research

Abraham : From The Bible Essay, Research Paper The following is a narrative description on the life and times of one ofthe most powerful characters in the Old Testament. Abraham was indeed aman of God in a time where few men believed in the One true God. Throughmany triumphs and errors, he always returned to God to lead him back to his calling.

Abraham : From The Bible Essay, Research Paper

The following is a narrative description on the life and times of one ofthe most powerful characters in the Old Testament. Abraham was indeed aman of God in a time where few men believed in the One true God. Throughmany triumphs and errors, he always returned to God to lead him back to his calling. His dedication resultedin great promises from God that were eventually fulfilled and affect eachof our lives today. His story is our story. Abraham was a native of Chaldea, and a ninth generation descendant ofShem, the son of Noah. He was born on the southern tip of the Tigris andUuphrates rivers in the city of Ur around 2161BC.1 Before his name waschanged to Abraham, his name was Abram. When Abram was about seventy years of age he moved with his family tolive in Haran. The reason he moved was because “The God of glory appearedto our father Abram when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,and said to him, “Depart from your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.”2 While in Haran, Abram’s father died and God spoke to him again saying, “Goforth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’shouse, to the land which I will show you.” 3 He obeyed and left Haran withhis brother Nahor’s family and his Nephew Lot without really knowing wherehe was going. At this time, God did not reveal to him he was going toCanaan. God only told him “the land which I will show you.” 4 When he didarrive in Canaan, he camped in the plains of Moreh, between the mountainsof Ebal and Cerizim. It was here he was given the second promise from Godthat his seed would possess this land. Abram built “an altar there to theLord who had appeared to him” 5 He then moved to the mountainous districtbetween Bethel and Ai. Here, he built another altar to Jehovah. Throughout the story of Abram, he consistently went back to Bethel to makeamends with God. All of God’s children should have a similar alter theyshould go to when praising God. This could be the front of your church,but should be in public. 6 Archeology has since proved that Bethel is themodern village of Baytin. 7 When in this area, a famine struck forcingAbram to move southward toward Egypt. God talked to Abram on the mountainEast of Bethel where he built an alter unto the Lord. Each person shouldhave their own personal alter to go before God, this should also be donein public. When he did get to Egypt, Abram told his first recorded lie. Because hiswife Sarah was beautiful, he feared she would lusted by after theEgyptians and endanger his life. He also knew the Pharaoh was alsoconcerned of Abram’s presence along with other Hyksos in the region. 8Abram persuaded Sarah to pass herself off as his sister. This lie couldprobably be considered a lighter shade of gray considering Sarah was hishalf sister, having the same father but a different mother. 9 When theEgyptians saw how beautiful she was, they took her to Pharaoh’s harem. Asa consequence, God plagued Pharaoh & his house. When the Pharaoh foundout Sarah was Abram’s wife, he sent him and his clan out of Egypt to fendfor themselves in the famished land. Because Abram told this lie, God allowed this to happen. Abram went out of Egyptand returned to Bethel the second time to call on the name of the Lord. While in Bethel, both Lot’s and Abram’s livestock could not be supportedby the land, and strife began between their herdsmen. Abram gave Lot hisfirst choice of where he wanted to settle. Instead of choosing theunknown territory toward Canaan, Lot chose the easy way out and went Eastto Jordan near the populated city of Sodom. The motif of scripture forthis story is simple. Abram gave more than he took. He let Lot take whathe wanted and left it to God to bless him with what was left. Lot’smistake was he stopped growing in God’s faith and stagnated. He soonfound out that everything is not as it seems. If one only takes, but doesnot give, it soon gets them into trouble. On the other hand, Abram wasrewarded with a third blessing for his faith. God reiterated His promiseto give him the land of Canaan and a posterity as numerous as the dust ofthe earth. So Abram moved his clan and camped near Hebron where he builtanother altar to Jehovah. In the mean time, Lot got himself in the middle of a war between rivalingBabylonian kings in the area. As a result, the kings of Sodom andGomorrah fell and their cities were spoiled. Lot and his goods were alsocarried off. When Abram heard of this, he immediately armed hisdependents, 318 men, and some of his neighbors. They overtook anddefeated the kings at Dan, near the springs of Jordan. To accomplishthis, Abram must have been a military genius. After Abram freed Lot, youwould think he would have learnt his lesson, but he returned with hisfamily to live in Sodom. When Abram was returning, the king of Sodom came out to meet him at theKing’s Valley along with Melchizedek, king of Salem and “priest of themost high God.” 10 Melchizedek brought him bread and wine, and blessed himby saying, “Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven andearth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thineenemies into thy hand.” 11 Hebrew tradition says that Melchizedek wasShem, son of Noah and survivor of the flood This tradition believes he wasstill alive at the time and the earth’s oldest living man. Others thinkthat Melchizedek was an Angel or the Messiah himself. 12 In return, Abrampresented Melchizedek a tenth of all he had. This is the first mention oftithing, and is still used as a guideline today. The king of Sodomattempted to give Abram the spoils of the war, but he refused. Abram toldthe king, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, maker of heaven andearth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or your, lest youshould say, “I have made Abram rich.” I will take nothing but what theyoung men have eaten.” 13 After this episode, The Lord rewarded Abram for his faithfulness and cameto him in a vision. God said, “Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, and thyexceeding great reward.” 14 In response, Abram asked how this could besince he did not have any children. God proceeded to encourage Abram through a distinct and detailedrepetition of former promises He had made and by a solemn covenantcontracted between himself and God. God told him his seed should be asnumerous as the stars of heaven, that his posterity should grow up into anation under foreign bondage, and that after four hundred years theyshould come up and possess the land in which he sojourned. After living in Canaan for ten years, Sarai went to Abram and said, ” TheLord has prevented me from bearing children.” 15 As she was seventy-fiveyears of age, she followed contemporary custom and allowed Abram toimpregnate Hagar, 16 her Egyptian handm aid. After this, Sarai got jealous of Hargar and told Abram that Hargarwas looking at her with contempt. Abram told Sarai that Hargar was underher authority, and she could to with her as she pleased. Saraisubsequently dealt so harshly with Hagar tha t she fled. But an angel ofthe Lord appeared to her in the wilderness and convinced her to return toSarai and submit herself to her. The angel told her she was pregnant andwould give birth to a son who would greatly multiply her descendants. Theang el told her to call the name of this child Ishmael. Thirteen years later, when Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him andchanged his name from Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. In a token toconsummate the covenant, God commanded that Abraham, all males of histribe and male descendants of his be circumcised. God also renewed hiscovenant to Abraham through the angles by assured him that Sarah, thenninety years old, would bear a child from his loins. Abraham laughed atthis and questioned how an old man like himself could impregnate a 90 year old woman. Abraham said, “O that Ishmael might live in thy sight!” 17 Godassured him Ishmael would make him fruitful also and make a great nationof him. But God told him that Sarah would indeed bear him a son and he

should call his name Isaac. God said he would establish a covenant withIsaac and all his descendants. After this meeting with conversation withGod, Abraham obeyed him and all males were circumcised. After this covenant, Abraham was visited by three travelers. One of thesetravelers was the “Angel of Jehovah” and two others were attending angels.18 These angels proceeded to reiterate to Abraham the promise of a son bySarah. Sarah was listening at the tent door and laughed to herselfthinking of how preposterous it was for a woman and man of their age toactually have sex, let alone for her to conceive a child. The angels knewof this laughter and asked why she had done so. Sarah denied it, but theLord said through the angels “No, but you did laugh.” 19 These angels thenleft and set out toward Sodom. As Abraham was walking with them for apart of the way, God chose to disclose to him the destruction he had inmind for Sodom and Gomorrah. At this time, God allowed Abraham tonegotiated with Him over destroying the cities if any righteous peoplewere found living their. As it was, no righteous people lived in thesecities, not even Lot and his family. The next morning, Abraham got upearly in the morning and saw the fate of the cities as smoke rose “up asthe smoke of a furnace. 20 When Abraham was one hundred years old, andSarah ninety, Isaac was born. Abraham circumcised Isaac when he was eightdays old as commanded. Subsequently, during a feast on the day Isaac wasweaned, Sarah saw Ishmael and Hagar mocking her. This infuriated her somuch that she insisted to Abraham they be sent away. Abraham reluctantlyconsented after God told him that not only would his descendants benumerous through Isaac, but also Ishmael. Abraham gave Hagar bread andwater and sent her off. God subsequently kept Hagar from leaving Ishmaelto die when all food and water was gone. An angel of God called to herfrom heaven and told her a great nation would rise from Ishmael. Thisgreat nation would be the Arabs. God opened her eyes and she saw a wellof water and gave her son a drink. Ishmael eventually grew up in thewilderness of Paran, and became an expert archer. The dispute of whoreceived the promise of Canaan, Isaac or Ishmael, still broils the hatredbetween the Jews and Arabs today. The Jews believe Isaac was given the promise of Canaan, and the Arabsbelieve Ishmael inherited this promise. After this, God tested Abraham by commanding him to go to Mt. Moriah andoffer up Isaac as a sacrifice. This was a great test of Abraham’s faith,because Isaac’s death would nullify all the promises God gave to Abrahamconcerning Isaac. Abraham probably decided to obey, because “heconsidered that God is able to raise men even from the dead.” 21 Abrahamrose early in the morning, cut wood for the burnt offering, and set offfor the mountains near Moriah with two of his servants and Isaac. On thethird day of their journey, Abraham saw the place God told him to go to. He told his servants he and his son would go on without them to worshipand then return. When Isaac asked Abraham where was the lamb for theburnt offering, Abraham told him that God would provide the lamb Himself. Abraham proceeded to build the altar and secured on top of it. As he wasabout to slay Isaac with a knife, the angel of the Lord called to him fromheaven and said, ” Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay your hand on the lad, fornow I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son fromme.” 22 Abraham stopped, looked up, and saw a ram caught in a thicket byhis horns. He took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering insteadof his son. This test of Abraham ’s faith is a Type of Christ. This isbecause Abraham can be considered like God when he was willing tosacrificed his only son on the cross. Also, Isaac was a young man as wasJesus and adult Ram was offered in Isaac’s place. Abraham called the nameo f this sacrificial place “The Lord Will Provide.” 23 After this, theangel of the Lord called Abraham a second time and said, “Because you havedone this, I will indeed bless you. I will Multiply you descendants asthe stars of heaven and as the sand o n the seashore. They shall possessthe gate of their enemies, and all the nations of the earth shall beblessed by them, because you have obeyed my voice.”. After this event,Abraham returned to his servants and with them went to Beer-sheba whereAbraham dwelt. 24 The next event recorded in Abraham’s life is the death of Sarah at 127years of age. She died near Hebron in the land of Canaan. Abraham buriedher in a cave he cleverly purchased from the Hittites n the field ofMachpelah. The next significant act of Abraham was to procure a suitable wife forIsaac. He commanded his eldest servant to go to Haran, where Abraham’sbrother Nahor lived to get Isaac’s wife. The servant went to Haran withmany camels and gifts. When he got to Haran, he made the camels kneel down by a well during the evening. He didthis because he knew the women of the city would come out at that time toget water from the well. He then prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, God of mymaster Abraham, grant me success today, I pray thee, and show steadfast love to my master, I am standing bythe spring, and the daughters of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the maiden to whom I shall say, “Pray let down your jar that I maydrink, “and who shall say, “Drink, and I will water your camels”–let herbe the one whom thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac”. 25 Before hehad finished this prayer, Rebekah, a beautiful virgin, and granddaughterof Nahor, came out with her water jar upon her shoulder. When she hadfilled her jar with water, the servant ran to meet her and asked her for adrink. Rebekah quickly let down her jar and told him she would draw waterfor his camels also. After the camels finished drinking, the servant gaveher gold ring and two bracele ts and asked her who her father was. Rebekahsaid she was the daughter of Nahor and ran to show her family the jewelry. After some convincing by the servant who told the family it was God’s willfor Rebekah to return with him, they let her go. She retur ned with theservant and married Isaac. Abraham died when he was 175 years old and was buried by Isaac and Ishmaelin the cave of Machpelah around 1986 BC with his wife Sarah. AfterAbraham’s death, God blessed Isaac as promised. SUMMARY Abraham was truly a man of God. Although he still had his humanfrailties, he ultimately trusted in God and always came back to Him forforgiveness and guidance. His spiritual experience with God wasindicative of four specific areas in which his faith was tested. First, he gave up his country and kindred; second, he brokeoff with his nephew, Lot; thirdly, he abandoned his plans for Ishmael tobe his hope for his ultimate heritage, and fourth, he was willing tosacrifice his son Isaac. 26 In the end, God rewarded Abraham by fulfilling the four great promises He made tohim: 1) Great nations would come from him. 2) God would bless andprosper him. 3) Sarah would give him a child named Isaac. 4) Hisgenerations would produce the savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Praise God for the lessons he has given us through the life of Abraham. Istand in awe thinking that not only will I be able to meet Abraham inheaven, but also our Lord who guided him throughout. BIBLIOGRRAPHY * J. A. Thompson, The Bible and Archaeology (Wm. B. Eerdmands Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan) * Henry H. Halley, Bible Handbook, 1951 * National Geographic Society, Everyday Life in Bible Times * Samuel J. Schultz, The Old Testament Speaks (Harper & Row, Publishers) * John H. Tullock, The Old Testament Story (Prentice-Hall, Inc.) * The Reader’s Digest Bible Illustrated Edition (Reader’s Digest Associated Limited) * The Holy Bible, King James Version (The World Publishing Company) * The New Ungers’s Bible Dictionary (Moody Press)1 Ungers, pg. 122 King James, Acts 7:2-33 King James, Gen. 12:14 King James, Gen. 12:15 King James, Gen. 12:6-76 Class Lecture, Jon Randles7 Everyday life in Bible Times, pg. 898 Class Lecture, Jon Randles9 King James, Gen. 20:1210 King James, Gen. 14:1711 King James, Gen. 14:19-2012 Halley, pg. 9513 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 3514 King James, 15:115 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 3516 Unger’s, pg. 1317 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 3618 Unger’s, pg. 1319 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 3720 King James, Gen. 19:2821 Heb. 11:1922 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 4023 Unger’s, pg. 1424 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 4025 Reader’s Digest Bible, pg. 40-4126 Ungers’s, pg. 1411