Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Abraham

Lesson 1: The Call and Blessing of Abraham

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 11:27–12:9)

The appearance of Abraham in the Bible marked a definite change in God’s dealings with mankind. When the generation that grew up after Noah began to turn away from the Lord and attempt to build the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9), God turned from dealing with peoples and nations to call one man through whom He would raise up a new nation, Israel, that would be God’s unique people.

Abraham was known as Abram until Genesis 17:5, and came from an area of pagan worship. According to Joshua 24:2, Abram’s father, Terah, was a worshiper of other gods. Interestingly, Abram’s home city of Ur was probably in what is now southern Iraq. Ancient inscriptions containing this word have been found six miles from Nasiriyah (the scene of heavy fighting in the Iraq war) on the Euphrates River. Ur was a highly developed civilization, which makes Abram’s act of faith in leaving everything to follow God’s call even more remarkable.

Study Questions

  1. Genesis 11:30 states that Abram’s wife, Sarai, was unable to have children. What is the significance of this fact in light of God’s plan for Abram?
  2. Genesis 12:3 is one of the most important verses in Scripture. What are some ways that "all peoples on earth" have been blessed by Abram and his descendants?
  3. Abram was already 75 years old when he left for Canaan. Did his age detract from his faith in God’s promise when he was told he would become a great nation (v. 2)?
  4. When God first promised Abram and his descendants the land of Israel, Abram responded by building an altar to worship God (v. 7). Why was Abram’s act important?
  5. Later, Abram built an altar and "called on the name of the Lord" (v. 8) for the first time in the Bible. How did this further demonstrate Abram’s faith in God?

Something to Think About

Abram overcame many obstacles to fulfill God’s plan for his life. If you are facing an obstacle today that makes it hard to follow God, think of some ways that He can help you overcome it.

Abram left a comfortable life to go to Canaan without knowing what awaited him. Is God asking you to do something that seems difficult? Pray for the strength to meet the challenge.