The Call of Abram

Key Verses: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”
—Genesis 12:1,2

Selected Scriptures:
Genesis 12:1-7; 15:1-7

IN TODAY’S LESSON WE will consider one of the most outstanding personalities of the Bible. Abram, whose name God later changed to Abraham, was an Old Testament character. However, his name is mentioned many times in the New Testament. Because of his faith, Abraham was called “the Friend of God,” and he is mentioned prominently by the Apostle Paul in his listing of various Old Testament heroes of faith. (James 2:23 Heb. 11:8-10,17-19) In Genesis 14:13, he is called “Abram the Hebrew.” He dwelt, along with his family, in Ur of the Chaldees. While in Ur, Stephen states, “The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran [Hebrew: Haran].” As noted in our Key Verses, Jehovah instructed Abram to leave the land of his nativity. The family first dwelt in Haran, and following his father’s death, Abram, his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot, were directed by God to go to the land of Canaan.—Acts 7:2-4; Gen. 11:27-31

In addition to God’s instructions to leave Ur, our Key Verses contain a remarkable promise given to Abram which he believed to be true. His faith was so complete that he was willing to leave his homeland and go to an unknown country so that the Lord might use him and bless him. Through him, God said he would establish a “seed,” or offspring, which would be used in due time as a means of blessing to “all families of the earth.” Jehovah also promised Abram that his seed would possess the land of Canaan. (Gen. 12:3-7) Abram encountered numerous trials and tests of faith following his initial entrance into Canaan, but the Lord helped him through them all.—Gen. 12:10-20; 13:1-13; 14:1-16

Later, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision renewing the promise that he had made to him. The record states that Abram “believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15:1,5-7,18) Verse 18 states that God had now “made a covenant with Abram.” Two chapters later, the Lord expanded upon this covenant and changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of a multitude.” Jehovah further told him, “I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”—Gen 17:1-8

The call of Abram very much resembles the call of the elect church during the present Gospel Age. We do not at first comprehend all the leadings of divine providence. However, in faith, we are to follow the leadings of the Lord and be taught by him, day by day. (John 6:45) Like Abram, we are called to commit and use our “all” in God’s service and to keep in view his many “exceeding great and precious promises.”—II Pet. 1:4

The Lord’s promises to his elect church are also in many ways similar to those made to Father Abraham. To these the Heavenly Father says, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation.” “He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (I Pet. 2:9; Rev. 2:26) To these, the Father’s words will specially apply, “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”—Gen. 12:2