Abram (later called Abraham) first appears in the genealogy of Genesis 11, which comes right after mention of the scattering from Babel.
Read Genesis 12:1-3, the call of God to Abram. Today, looking back after the cross, after the death of Jesus and the spreading of the gospel, how do we understand what God was promising to do through Abram?
Many centuries later, the apostle Paul, in seeking to deal with the heresy of the Galatians, pointed back to Abraham’s call, showing it to be an early expression of what God’s intentions had always been: the gospel to the world. “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:7-9).
Abraham’s call was first expressed in Genesis 12; much of the rest of Genesis is the story of his blood descendants, one dysfunctional seed after another, creating one messed-up family after another, and yet, through them the promise eventually was to be fulfilled, reaching a crucial point with the call of Moses.
Read Acts 7:20-36, the martyr Stephen’s depiction of Moses and the Exodus. How does this fit in with God’s initial promise to Abraham?
In a world steeped in ignorance, error, and a general lack of the knowledge of truth (things have not changed much in more than three thousand years, have they?), the Lord called out a people, His people, Abraham’s seed, from Egypt. In them He sought not only to preserve knowledge of the truth; that is, knowledge of Him, Yahweh, and the plan of salvation, but also to spread that knowledge to the rest of the world.
|Today, how do we as Seventh-day Adventists see ourselves in relationship to the rest of the world? That is, what parallels exist between us and ancient Israel? More important, what responsibility does this parallel place on each of us individually?|