|INTRODUCTION: Abraham is look upon reverently by three of the great
world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He lived about 4,000
years ago. He is one of the greatest men in the Bible. What makes him so
I. A THUMBNAIL SKETCH OF ABRAHAM'S LIFE.
A. His early life (Genesis 11:27-32; Acts 7:1-4)
II. SOME GREAT LESSONS FROM ABRAHAM'S LIFE.
1. Abram, as he was called in his early life, was a native
B. His departure from Haran to Canaan. (Genesis 12:1-4).
a. Abram was a native of Ur, one of the oldest known cities
in the world. It was located somewhere near the Persian Gulf in the Fertile
Crescent (Tigris, Euphrates river valley). It was one of the most highly
developed regions in the world at the time. It was also characterized by
2. Abram received a called from God to leave Ur and go to Haran, located
in the extreme northern end of the fertile crescent.
b. His father was Terah, who lived 205 years. He had two brother, Nahor
a. Genesis 11 does not record God's call of Abram. But Stephen
specifies that Abram received a call from God to go to Haran with his family
(Acts 7:2). Genesis tells us that Terah took Abram, Lot and Sarai (the
early name for Sarah) and traveled to Haran.
b. There Haran died and Abram became head of the family.
1. While in Haran, God spoke to Abram again. In this famous
call God gave one command and two promises.
C. Abraham the Sojourner. (Genesis 12:6-14:24).
a. He commanded Abram to separate himself from his family and
go to a land which was unknown to him.
2. He departed, taking with him his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot, together
with their possessions.
b. He promised that He would bless Abram and make his name great.
c. He promised that through Abram all the nations of the earth would
1. Abram traveled to Shecem in Canaan where God promised to
give the land to both him and his descendants.
D. Abraham the Settler (Genesis 15-21).
2. The land was struck with a famine, so Abram took his family to Egypt
for relief. While there Abram demonstrated that he could have periods of
weakness also. Fearing the Egyptians, he encouraged Sarai to pose as his
sister. Pharaoh took her into his harem and was afflicted with plagues
from God. Being forced to admit his sin, Abram took his family and departed
once again for Canaan.
3. A dispute arose between Lot's herdsmen and Abram's (Genesis 13:1ff).
Abram gave Lot the choice of lands. Lot chose the prosperous, well watered
plains of Sodom.
a. The Lord renewed His promise to Abraham, again promising
Abraham all the land of Canaan (verses 14-17).
4. The battle of the Kings (Genesis 14).
a. Lot got mixed up in a rebellion on the part of the plain
city states, led by the king of Sodom and Gomorrah, against Chedorlaomer
king of Elam.
b. Lot was taken captive in battle by the Elamites and their confederates.
c. Abram heard of Lot's predicament and armed 300 of his servants and
fought the Elamites, thus freeing Lot and his people.
d. It was as a result of this battle that Melchizadek met Abram and
1. This period of Abram's life seems more settled. He stays
in Hebron much of the time during this period.
E. Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22-25:18)
2. God renews the covenant and assures him that He will keep His promise
and provide an heir from Abram's body. (Genesis 15)
a. God reveals that Abram's people will serve as slaves for
400 years in a foreign land (verses 13-14).
3. The Birth of Ishmael. (Genesis 16).
b. God gives the exact dimensions of the promised land which Abram's
descendants will inherit (verses 19-21).
a. Sarai comes to Abram with a scheme to "help" God by providing
an heir through her handmaiden Hagar. As with all
4. God again speaks to Abram. Abraham is now 99.
hum attempts to improve on God's plan, it ended in error and heartache.
b. From the moment Hagar conceived she looked down on Sarai. Sarai began
to persecute Hagar.
c. Hagar flees from Sarai. The Angel of the Lord appears to her and
tells her to return and place herself under Sarai's subjection. He also
promises to multiply her descendants through her unborn child.
d. She returns and give birth Ishmael. He become the fathers of the
a. Renews the promise of a great nation and people.
5. The destruction of Sodom. (Genesis 18-19).
b. Changes his name to Abraham and Sarai's to Sarah.
c. Institutes the practice of circumcision of males and a token of the
covenant of Abraham and his people with Jehovah.
d. God promise Abraham that he will make a great nation from Ishmael,
but specifically promises that the covenant child will come from Abraham
a. Angels appear to Abraham on the plains of Mamre.
6. Abraham lies again. (Genesis 20).
b. The promise that Sarah will soon have a son. Sarah laughs.
c. The Lord tells Abraham that he is going to send angels to destroy
Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleads for the cities.
d. The angels deliver Lot and his two daughters from the city. Lot's
wife dies because she disobeys God and looks back at the cities' being
destroyed. Lot's daughter get their father drunk and conceive children
a. Abraham and his family travel to the South to Gerar near
7. The birth of the Covenant child (Genesis 21).
b. He again become fearful and pretended that Sarah was his sister.
c. Abimelech takes her as a wife. God send a dream to Abimelech revealing
d. Abimelech returns Sarah, gives Abraham material blessings and send
him out from his sight.
a. Isaac is born. His name mean "laughter" reminiscent of Sarah
laughing on the plains of Mamre.
b. Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away. God cares for them.
c. Abimelech and Abraham make a treaty at the well of Beersheba.
1. God puts Abraham to the supreme test. He commands him to
sacrifice Isaac as an offering (Genesis 22).
a. Abraham obeys, being fully prepared to plunge the knife
into Isaiah because God had commanded it. See Hebrews 11:17-19.
2. Sarah dies (Genesis 23).
b. God renews His promise to Abraham.
a. Abraham buys the cave of Machpelah for 400 shekels of silver.
3. The marriage of Isaac (Genesis 24).
b. This would later be Abraham's burial place.
a. Abraham sends his servant Eleazar to secure an wife for
Isaac from among his kinsmen remaining in Haran. Isaac is now 40.
4. Abraham's latter years.
b. Rebekah consents to become Isaac's wife.
c. They both love each other. Rebekah is said to comfort Isaac after
his mother's death.
a. Abraham marries again, to Keturah.
b. He has a number of children in his old age. These begin several new
c. Abraham gives his later children gifts, but gives Isaac the full
d. At 175 Abraham dies and is buried in the Cave of Machpelah but Isaac
A. Abraham teaches that we must have faith enough to step out
in obedience to God's will.
CONCLUSION: Abraham is probably one of the five greatest person who ever
lived. We are still being influenced by his faith, his failings, and his
far reach promises God made to him.
1. Abraham's life was a life of faith. He went out not knowing
where he was going, depended on God to bless him in a hostile land, and
was willing to offer up the covenant son because God commanded it.
B. Abraham shows the faithfulness of God's promises.
2. Abraham defined faith. See Hebrews 11.
3. We too must be willing to "trust and obey." See John 14:15; Hebrews
5:8-9, Mark 16:16.
1. It took 25 years from the time of Abraham's call out of
Haran to the birth of the covenant child for God to keep His word, but
C. We can never improve upon God's plans or methods.
2. No matter how long it takes, and no matter how it appears to us that
God is not working, or cannot work His will, God will still be faithful
to His promises.
3. See 2 Peter 3:9-10.
1. Look at what happened when Sarah persuaded Abraham to "help"
God by having a child by Hagar. It set off a chain of pain and heartache
for all concerned.
D. Even those who are holy and righteous can sin.
2. See Isaiah 55:8-9.
1. Abraham committed the same sin twice. While he was being
technically correct it was still an untruth to deliberately mislead others.
E. Abraham was the friend of God and was justified by faith, without the
deeds of the Law of Moses.
2. Romans 3:23
1. See Romans 4:1-4
F. Christ is the final and complete fulfillment of the promise of God to
2. It has already been noted that Abraham was justified by obedient
faith. Paul here states that Abraham was justified because of his faithfulness,
and not by the deeds of the Law of Moses.
3. We, too, are justified by faithfulness, and not self-righteous law
keeping. Obedience is necessary but we cannot work enough to deserve salvation.
1. Galatians 3:16- "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises
made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And
to your Seed," who is Christ. 17- And this I say, that the law, which was
four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was
confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no
effect. 18- For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise;
but God gave it to Abraham by promise."
G. Christians are the spiritual descendants of Abraham.
1. Galatians 3:26-28 "For you are all sons of God through faith
in Christ Jesus. 27- For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have
put on Christ. 28- There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave
nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ
Copyright 2000 by Grady
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