Who is Abraham?
According to the Word of God Abraham is the very first person in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matt 1:1-2). His father was Terah and Abraham’s son according to God’s promise was Isaac. Abraham became the father of the Jews and the Father of faith (John 8:53; Rom 4:1).
Abraham’s original name
Originally, Abraham’s name was “Abram” which means “exalted father” in Hebrew. However, at the age of 99, God renamed Abram and called him “Abraham” (Gen 17:5). Abraham’s new name reveals the purpose and God’s will for Abraham to become a key figure in the history redemption. In the original Hebrew language, “Abraham” means “father of all nations.” Thus his name and his calling is a preview of the work that would be completed in Abraham.
Abraham and the son of promise
Before receiving the promise of a son Abraham was called out of the Ur of Chaldeans in Mesopotamia. After sharing God’s command with his father Terah, Abraham along with his wife Sarah, his father and nephew Lot departed Ur of Chaldeans heading for Canaan but delayed in Haran (Gen 11:31). At the age of 75 while still living in Haran; God spoke to Abraham again saying “go forth from your country, relatives and father’s house to a land in which I will show you (Gen 12:1). Out of obedience Abraham departed Haran and came into the land of Canaan (Gen 12:4-5). It was in Canaan that God promised Abraham that he would make him a “great nation” (Gen 12:2). This promise was a great hope and blessing to Abraham who had no son. At the age of 100 years old, Abraham became the father of Isaac, the son of promise (Gen 21:1-5)
Abraham, the father of faith
Literally speaking; Jewish people are the direct descendants of Abraham however; the Bible states that linage alone will not make one a true descendant of Abraham. Even John the Baptist rebuked the religious leaders of his day saying, “just because you are literal descendants of Abraham does not make Abraham your father (Luke 3:8; John 8:39). Only those who believe in Jesus Christ are Abraham’s descendants, and heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:29). Abraham who believed in God was justified by his faith and became the father of faith and the father of us all, the father of many nations (Rom 4:16-18). Ultimately what this means is that even a Gentile can become a descendant of Abraham and receive the same blessings as long as that person believes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal 3:7-9). Thus, Jesus who came as a descendant of Abraham teaches and testifies that He came as the savior not only for the Jews but for all of God’s chosen people including the Gentiles. Therefore Abraham is the father of many nations (Gen 22:17-18).
A certain rich man died and went to hades and a poor man name Lazarus also died and was carried away by angels to the “bosom of Abraham” i.e., paradise (Luke 16:19-22). Paradise in Greek is “paradeisos” meaning “the kingdom of heaven,” the “place of eternal joy” and “happiness.”
So here the Bible depicts or portrays paradise as Abraham’s bosom, why? First, Abraham is the father of all believers (sons of Abraham) and he represents all those who will go to paradise (Luke 19:9). Secondly, Abraham represents those who have received salvation (Luke 19:9). Thirdly, Abraham’s bosom is portrayed as the dwelling place for the saved (Matt 8:11; Luke 16:22). Therefore, Abraham became the central figure in paradise where all the believers’ spirits will surely enter.
Abraham, friend of God
God called Abraham His friend (Isa 41:8). The word “friend” is (philos) in Greek which implies that Abraham had an intimate relationship with God and because of this intimacy with the creator, God revealed His covenant (Psa 25:14). Likewise, if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we too become friends of Jesus and He will make known to us from the father His mysteries (John 15:15). Abraham’s work of offering Isaac on the altar demonstrates the faith worthy of being called God’s friend (James 2:21-23).
Through obedience, Abraham became the starting point for salvation of all nations. Let’s prepare to receive all the nations that will come singing, dancing and praising from all around the world to receive our father’s Word, the redemptive history.