Today this man is revered by the majority of the world as the “father of faith.” His story is preserved in Genesis, and it tells us much of what we need to know about faith. While each person’s faith journey is unique, Abraham blazed a trail for the rest of us; his faith journey tells us about our own. The biography of Abraham has much to teach anyone—even an atheist—who wants to know the one true Creator.
Abraham’s story doesn’t appear in Genesis until nearly one-quarter of the way through the book. By the time readers meet Abraham, they have learned a great deal about God. So it seems only right that we know something about Him as well. For the sake of time, let me summarize what the Bible reveals about God.
First, the God of the Bible is the only deity in existence. He is not one of many; there is one God and no other. The Bible denies the validity of any religion or philosophy that does not acknowledge God, as described in its pages, as the sole object of worship. Any god whose description differs from that of the Bible is a fiction and, therefore, does not exist.
Second, as the sole Creator of the universe, He has both the authority and the ability to rule over all of creation, including people. His sovereignty is absolute. And, because He is morally perfect, He is the sole judge of what is right and what is wrong. Consequently, He alone has the qualification and the right to sit in judgment over each person.
Third, God’s love for people is infinite. It is without boundaries. His love cannot be measured, because it has no end. He knows all about us, but He loves us still. Nothing He knows about us could make Him love us less, and no matter how great our devotion may grow, He cannot love us more. His love is not only infinite, it is also absolute.
Fourth, God’s guidance is unpredictable from a human perspective. He often leads His people into places and circumstances that are surprising because He does not color within the lines drawn by humans. While His character remains consistent, His methods cannot be calculated as if He were a programmed machine.
Fifth, God’s blessings upon us are astonishing. While He is just, He frequently offers mercy. He gives us more good things than we merit, and He shields us from many sorrows we deserve. The best word to describe His character, His values, and His methods is grace. Furthermore, His grace is unstoppable, even by our rebellious rejection of Him.
With these essential facts in mind, let’s begin our examination of Abraham’s life in detail. As we follow the patriarch’s journey from pagan ignorance to biblical enlightenment, let me challenge you to put yourself in the sandals of this noteworthy nomad. By the time you read the final words of the last chapter, I hope you will have accepted at least three important truths.
First, truly enlightened thinking builds upon the truth that God, as described in the Bible, not only exists but also actively governs His creation (see Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 1:7). When life is viewed through this lens, scientific discoveries become clearer, and the world—with all its chaos and danger—becomes a less frightening place.
Second, the God of the Bible loves you and has been actively involved in your life from the day you were born—and even before. This is true whether or not you recognize His activity or choose to acknowledge Him.
Third, God has a plan for you, and this plan includes blessings greater than your ability to imagine. Many centuries ago, He established a plan to redeem the world from evil, and He has made a place for you in His grand design. This redemptive plan began with His choice of one man, Abraham. Because his story is the archetype for my story, and your story, let’s walk in his sandals as we learn about this God who loves us so much.
Charles R. Swindoll, Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2014).
We have just released a new Bible Study on the life of Abraham.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking. Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Moore.
These lessons will save you time as well as provide deep insights from some of the great writers and thinkers from today and generations past. I also include quotes from the same commentaries that your pastor uses in sermon preparation.
Ultimately, the goal is to create conversations that change lives.