Remember the Father Abraham song with all those motions we learnt in Sunday school as kids?
You know the one I’m talking about…
For those of you interested, here are the Father Abraham song lyrics.
Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm! Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm! Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot! Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot! Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, Chin up!
Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, Chin up, Chin down! Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, Chin up, Chin down, turn around! Father Abraham had many sons Many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you So let's all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot, Chin up, Chin down, turn around, sit down!
A closer look at Father Abraham
When you read the story from the perspective of an adult its remarkable to see the life of Father Abraham in the Bible who Christians, Jews and Muslims all hold in high regard.
There is no other modern figure who can command the attention of those three major faiths quite like Abraham (Jesus of course is greater but Muslim’s just see him as a prophet) so it makes sense to revisit Abraham’s story in the Bible and see what we can learn.
It’s always a good idea when reading the Bible to pray that Holy Spirit guide you during your time, I’m glad I did today because now I’m typing this post after being immensely inspired by this man of the faith.
Father Abraham History
Who is Father Abraham?
Abraham is considered the father of three major religions being Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
We first meet Abram in Genesis Chapter 11 where we learn that the father of Abram (later renamed by God, Abraham) was Terah and Abram had two brothers, Nahor and Haran who was Lot’s father who died in Ur of the Chaldeans, while Terah was still alive.
Here is a map for context:
We learn that it was Abraham’s father Terah that initially makes the move from Ur of the Chaldeans to head to the land of Canaan but they don’t quite make it there settling rather in Haran. So we can gleam from this that Abraham was already quite familiar with a nomadic way of life even before he began his own journey with God in chapter 12.
So in chapter 12 we read, “The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives and your father’s family and go to the land that I will show you.” I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat with contempt. All the families on Earth will be blessed through you.
Abram had no idea where he was going, but he had an incredible promise from God so he went anyway. He leaves with his wife Sarai (later renamed by God, Sarah), nephew Lot and all their possessions to head off into the unknown.
Abram has no children at this stage as we know from further reading about Sarai’s barrenness but eventually father Abraham had seven sons who included Isaac from Sarah and six more sons from his later marriage to Keturah after Sarah died. The names of those six sons were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
Father Abraham had many sons over and above these seven as we learn when God tells him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the night sky.
But let’s go back to the moment at the call of God when He tells Abram to leave Haran to go to a land I will show you. No name there, just go…
Who does that?
Clearly a man who has no doubt he heard the voice of God.
They then enter a famine and go to Egypt and Abram (He is not Abraham yet) tells his wife to lie to the Egyptians that she is his sister and not his wife because she is very beautiful and word indeed spreads in Egypt and Pharoah takes Sarai as his wife.
We then hear that the Lord curses Pharaoh and his household with plagues and Pharoah summons Abram to find the reason for this deception which the scriptures tells us was because of Abram’s fear of being killed so Sarai could be taken from him.
Not sounding quite so much as the mighty man of faith right now is he?
What does Abram get for his deception? Oh just a whole load of sheep, oxen, donkeys, male and female servants and camels. In other words he gets super blessed even amidst his treachery.
I don’t know about you but that says a lot to me about the faithfulness of God even when we really mess things up with our own logic often guided by fear. When He promises us something, it is irrevocable – because for all intensive purposes Abram should have been killed by the Egyptians for how he handled the situation but they knew His God was with him so they didn’t dare!
Then we hear about Abram and Lot and how Abram is very generous and “Uncle-like” by letting Lot have first choice of where to settle. Lot chooses what he thinks is the best most fertile land but as we learn, this area is filled with strife and war and Lot gets captured by an alliance of ancient kings who seize Sodom.
Abram hears about this and what does he do? He takes 318 of his best trained men and went in pursuit as far as Dan and defeats this alliance of kings at Hobah, north of Damascus.
It was at this moment for me that it was literally a mic drop moment and when that imagery of this incredible almost rock star like persona started to develop for me.
This guy lived life at a whole other level!
He wasn’t this meek and mild holy man. He was a pagan from Ur of the Chaldeans with some incredible street savvy and battle hardened resolve who got the job done when he was called by God.
The key to Abram as a father of the faith was that he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. I know for me Abram definitely doesn’t conjure up recent imagery of what holy men look like. We have religion and religious art to blame for that. But that is another topic.
God’s definition of holy men are passionate warriors who seek and cry out to Him at every moment they can. Think of David, the man after God’s own heart and another study of imperfect men leading lives at a higher dimension than the mere natural with God.
It’s high time that the image religion has created for spiritual men and women changes, don’t you think? There certainly are elements of meekness but more often that not God is wanting warriors to take back ground from evil and who completely rely on His strength and guidance to see and hear things your eyes and ears would not believe even if you were told.
A person like Abram is inspiring and a complete stand out from the crowd that even kings and priests (Melchizedek the king and priest of Salem) blessed him.
And the good news is that we through the sacrifice of Jesus are…
Children of Abraham
Who are the new children of Abraham?
All who profess their faith in Jesus Christ have been adopted as sons and daughters of God sharing in the blessing and promise of Abraham. Galatians 3:29
Through faith in Jesus Christ and our adoption as sons and daughters of God we are heirs and what do heirs have?
Inheritance, so with that in mind shouldn’t we too be operating in this Abraham mantle?
Leading lives of faith and destiny that impacts the lives of generations to come. We can get started today to walk in this mantle in our immediate circles of influence and see how God grows it.
Remember Abram started where you are right now but he was called to leave his father’s house and land to go to a land yet unknown. This new land could be figurative but in many cases it will be literal, pray that God leads you now.
Father God I thank you for your goodness and who you are.
I thank you for my many blessings you have already given me and I thank you for the promises and inheritance of Abraham fulfilled through Jesus Christ operating in my life right now.
I receive your good and I declare my faith and trust in you, just as Abraham did all those years ago. I pray for greater measures of faith to operate in all areas of my life. I pray for the mind of Christ which defeats all fear and death so that I may walk in the ancient paths and purposes you ordained for my life.
In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen!
Enjoyed this article? You might also like “Declarations of God’s Favor”
Featured image with thanks to jw.org.