Abraham’s path to greatness – Part 5
From inception, God’s call on Abraham was a call to greatness. As we read, “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV).
Abraham’s walk with God shows how those who are called of God and who respond in obedience and faith could attain greatness in God. God called him a pioneer of a great nation; He promised that He would make his name great and that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed.
Abraham’s pathway to greatness was long and winding. First, he began his journey with God by leaving his home and going out to a place unknown to him. He separated himself from his idolatrous background. Then, he raised an altar to God from where he worshipped and offered sacrifices to God. He then entered into a covenant with God. And he willingly obeyed God, when he was called upon to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.
In Hebrews 11:8; we find the first milestone in Abraham’s life, “By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
The second significant step Abraham took when he was called was that he built altars where he worshipped God. In all, Abraham built four altars to God at different times. These four altars raised at different times marked the high points of Abraham’s spiritual experiences in the journey of faith. First, he built an altar in Genesis 12:7; then the second altar in Genesis 12.8; then the third altar in Genesis 13.18; and the fourth altar in Genesis 22.9. Think of what faith this must have taken! Abraham walked upon the land that God promised to give him. He pitched his tent upon it. He set up altars and worshipped God in them.
In Genesis 15, we find yet another peak in Abraham’s walk with God. God made promises to Abraham about a seed. Against all odds, Abraham believed in God’s promises. Consequently, it was accounted to him as righteousness. Abraham’s faith on that day has been the encouragement of the saints ever since. It has become the model of saving faith through Jesus Christ (Gen.15:1-6; Romans 4:16-20).
In Genesis 17:1-7, God confirmed His covenant with Abraham after the initial covenant in chapter 15. By that covenant, God perpetuated his descendants. “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly…I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:2, 6-7 NKJV).
Then, in chapter 22, Abraham in faith obeyed God by attempting to sacrifice his son, Isaac to God. God appeared to him as Jehovah Jireh.
These were the foundation stones to Abraham’s greatness. He did not attain greatness by the sudden flight of fancy, but through the journey of faith and obedience to God.