Our grandfather Adam was given blessing through no merit of his own; he was created by God, and placed in the perfect beauty of God’s garden in complete innocence. There was never a time when Adam did not know God. Noah, on the other hand, was found to be a righteous man who walked with God, and thus preserved humanity through the flood. The recorded interaction between God and Noah occurs when Noah is 600 years old. The beginning of Abram’s story is different still.
Abram was not born into an ideal situation such as Adam; nor was he referred to as righteous in the eyes of God like Noah initially. Abram was born in Ur of the Chaldeans, an idolatrous land, with a father who practiced idolatry (Joshua 24:2). And though Abram was 75 years old when our story starts, he has not at this point proven himself righteous as far as we know, but rather he receives a seemingly random calling from God, along with promises for following that calling. Though it is somewhat late in his life (as life spans have been drastically since both the flood and the dispersion) Abram is just beginning a new journey by this calling of God.
There is a strong thread of consistency among the stories of Adam, Noah and Abram: Request for Obedience. Adam with the single command not to eat of the fruit, Noah to build the ark in light of the coming judgment, and Abram to simply “go”. Adam was given his command with the simple instruction that if he failed to obey he would surely die, though we don’t know if Adam had a full comprehension of how God meant it. With Noah, the commands given were extremely specific for the building of the ark, and God chose to reveal information about his coming judgment in detail to Noah as well, though God does not give much detail about the end result of the flood, other than everything and everyone being dead. Noah himself isn’t specifically told he will survive.
With Abram, it is a simple , though difficult, calling: to go. Where? “To the land which I will show you” (Gen. 12:1) Why? No specific reason is given as to why Abram should go at this point; only promises given by God concerning future blessings if he obeys. God asked Abram to do three things, (really just one – to leave) and offered 7 promises in return for obedience. These promises are very large in scope and borderline unbelievable to a 75 year old man, and are, in a sense, a revelation hinging upon his obedience. To be made into a nation? Divine protection and blessings? And then when Abram takes that step and goes to Canaan, God adds another promise “To your descendants I will give this land.” How? The text tells us just before this that “the Canaanite was in the land.”
The revelation of these promises to Abram of a bright and wonderful future are in stark contrast to the revelation of utter destruction given to Noah with no certain promise concerning the future. In all, a cycle is formed: Through Adam, a beginning; through Noah, a judgment and ending; and through Abram, yet a new beginning. Thus, through the righteous, the chosen are saved. Righteous Noah acted as a savior for the people and animals from Adam until now that God had chosen. In a spiritual interpretation, we see Jesus as the righteous savior, saving the chosen children of faith of Abraham.