Abraham, according to the Bible, was the first patriarch of the people of Israel , who received the promise that God would bless all people through him. Abraham was the ancestor of the entire Jewish people and of Jesus, the savior of the world. All who have faith in Jesus are also considered descendants of Abraham ( Romans 4:16 ).
Meaning of the name
The meaning of the name Abraão means “father of a crowd, exalted father” and the meaning of Abrão means “father of the heights”. It is interesting to notice that, with the change of name from Abrão to Abraão, one of the differences is that it connotes a greater emphasis on the idea of exaltation.
Terah was the father of Abraham and they were born in the city of Ur, of the Chaldeans, which was in the Mesopotamian region (present-day Iraq and Kuwait). When Abraham’s brother died, the family decided to leave Ur and go to Canaan. They dwelt in Haran ( Genesis 11:31 ). A curious detail is that, in both Ur and Haran, these were pagan cities and worship of gods.
Get out of your land
God spoke to Abraham clearly, when he was still living in Ur, saying:
“Then the Lord said to Abram,” Leave your land, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great people, and I will bless you. your name, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you, and through you all the peoples of the earth will be blessed ”(Genesis 12: 1-3).
God promised that his descendants would be a great people and inherit the land of Canaan. So Abraham left for Canaan with his wife Sarah and his nephew Lot, living the rest of his life in tents. At that time, Abraham’s age was seventy-five years. During this journey, there were times of hardship and famine in the lands of Canaan, and so Abraham went to Egypt to live there for a period of time.
Entering and leaving Egypt
Afraid of losing his life, Abraham, upon arriving in Egypt, said that Sarai was his sister and not his wife ( Genesis 12:13 ), as she was very beautiful, and so the Egyptian officers were enchanted with her and were soon taken to the Pharaoh. Because of Sarai’s beauty, they were treated very well, but God punished Pharaoh and everyone in his family as well as Egyptian officers with horrible diseases ( Genesis 12: 16-17 ).
See also Sara’s story.
With that, Pharaoh discovered the truth and ordered Abraham to leave Egypt immediately ( Genesis 12: 17-20 ).
When Abraham left Egypt, he was Negev. Both Abraham and Lot, his nephew, were very wealthy, but the region where they were did not hold everything they had; their animals and servants, therefore, they separate. Lot went to live in the plains of the Jordan, near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, while Abraham went to another plain called Manre in Hebron.
He was an old man when God called him
Abraham was seventy-five years old when God called him to leave his home and get out of comfort! He was eighty-six years old when he had his first son, Ishmael, and he was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born ( Genesis 12:21 ). Without a doubt, Abraham lived a story of faith! You experienced God’s action in your life!
A son for Abraham
Although he was very prosperous, Abraham was sad because he had no children and he and Sarah were already old. God promised that he would have many descendants. Instead of waiting, Abraham took Sarah’s slave, Hagar, as a concubine and she had a son named Ishmael. Ishmael’s descendants became a great people but they were not the heirs of God’s promise.
Find out here: who was Ismael?
God again promised Abraham that he would have a son with Sarah and made a covenant with him and his family. Abraham believed in God and dedicated his family to Him. When Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah had Isaac. A few years later, God put Abraham to the test. He told him to kill Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham decided to obey God because he believed that He had the power to resurrect Isaac to fulfill His promise. At the last moment, God prevented Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and blessed him because of his faith and dedication ( Genesis 22: 15-18 ).
Read here: who was Isaac in the Bible?
Father of faith
Abraham believed God, even against impossible circumstances. His faith earned him justice; he was saved by faith. His family was blessed by God and, long after, one of his descendants, Jesus, kept his promise and blessed the whole world, dying and being resurrected for our sins.
See here the 3 promises of God to Abraham.
The Bible explains that everyone who believes in Jesus becomes part of Abraham’s true family. The blessings that God promised Abraham are for us too, through faith ( Galatians 3: 6-7 ). Abraham’s life is a good example of how we can trust God in all circumstances.