Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The House of Abraham

And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” (Genesis 18:17-19)
Noah is the tenth generation from God. Abraham is the tenth generation from Noah (Genesis 11:10-26).

  1. Noah begat Shem
  2. Shem begat Arphaxad
  3. Arphaxad begat Salah
  4. Salah begat Eber
  5. Eber begat Peleg
  6. Peleg begat Reu
  7. Reu begat Serug
  8. Serug begat Nahor
  9. Nahor begat Terah
  10. Terah begat Abram (later called Abraham)
When Abram came on the scene, the times had once again become evil. The scattering and confusion at the Tower of Babel had already taken place.

Terah, in the line of blessed Shem, turned out to be an a maker of idols. We find this in Joshua:
And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times and they served other gods.’” (Joshua 24:2)
Terah’s name means “delay,” and he certainly was a delay to the plans of God. Terah moved his family to Haran, a crossroads. The crossroads represents a place of dramatic decision. It was there that God called Abram, saying, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house” (Genesis 12:1). The purpose of God to bless the world had been delayed at the crossroads long enough. So God called and Abram went.

Now, even though “Abram” means “exalted father,” his wife Sarai was barren, so there was no heir in his house. But God promised that Abram would indeed have a son and that he would be the father of nations. He even changed Abram’s name to Abraham (“father of multitudes”).

In Genesis 18:17-19, we again see the promise of a great and mighty nation coming from Abraham:
“For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
The sense of “I have known him” does not mean simple knowledge, i.e. “I know that Abraham will command his children and his household, etc.” Rather, it means that God chose Abraham for that purpose. It was not about what Abraham would do, but about what God would do in, to and through Abraham. That is always God’s way — He initiates, we respond.

So God chose Abraham, so Abraham would command his household to keep the way of the Lord. Abraham believed God and received all that was promised.

When God calls you, He will empower to do everything He has planned for you. It will be an inheritance for all your house and a blessing to the nations.