Until now, scripture has focused on just a few individuals and God’s interaction with them, though their stories have been fairly brief; Adam has one chapter, and Noah has four. The next 13 chapters of scripture are devoted to the story of Abraham, the longest narrative on one individual so far. Additionally, Abraham is no stranger beyond Genesis, as his words and deeds carry us beyond the Hebrew writings and into the writings of Christ and the church. Further, Abraham is considered a prophet of God in the Islamic faith and is mentioned in the Qu’ran. He is considered by many to be among the first to have a monotheistic view of faith, and thus Islam, Judaism and Christianity all consider Abraham the father of their faiths.
Abraham’s story of trials, faith and obedience is a great one we can learn much from. As Rambam (also known as Maimonides) once said, “The trials were meant to display to the world how a great man obeys God.” I think that is a great answer, and how fortunate we are to have Abraham’s story recorded.
Like Noah and the story of the flood, this is a portion of scripture that I have both been greatly looking forward to studying and writing about, as well as having some reservations about my own understanding of Abraham’s story. I am sure that I will continue to learn much through writing this commentary, and so it is mutually beneficial both to me and those who read it. I sincerely hope you enjoy, learn and grow in the next several weeks as we look at Abraham’s story.