So, Why is Abraham the Father of our Faith?

by Steve Ray on May 19, 2014

To purchase Steve Ray’s Talk “Abraham: Father of Faith & Works” on CD or MP3 visit SteveRaysStore.com.

Well for starters, let’s see how he DID or DIDN’T respond to God when called to leave his homeland and go to a place that God would show him. Let’s put ourselves in his sandals and see what WE would have done.

(This is a section from the Catholic Scripture Studies guide I wrote on Genesis.)

Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.’” (Genesis 12:1-3).

That is all that Abram had to go on. We are not aware of other conversations or proofs that God may have given to Abram—just pack up and go to  — well, he didn’t know where to!

So, put yourself in Abram’s sandals:

In Our Image AbrahamSm.jpg“Where Lord; where do you want me to go?” you ask. God says, “I already told you—to a land that I will show you.” “But Lord,” you answer, “I have a house and cars, a job and a family here.” “I’ve noticed,” replies God, “sell everything you can’t transport to another land, and pack the rest. Then I will tell you where to go.” “Where is this land you want us to to?” “I haven’t told you yet,” God says, “ just get packing.” “But God, if I quit my job here, will I have work in this new place?” “Don’t worry” answers God.

Under your breath you mutter, “Don’t worry?” Then you turn back to the Voice and say “What about a house and everything else we will need? What about a mortgage and an employment contract?” Patiently God responds, “I haven’t promised you any of that right now,” says God, “just trust me; I will bless you.” You turn away and mutter again, “Trust him?” before turning back to the Voice, “What do you mean trust you? What do you mean that will bless me? I have family here and no sons to care for me in my old age. I am already seventy-five years old—I’m past retirement and you say ‘Trust me?’” “Yes,” says God, “trust me to bless you!” “Hey God, where did you say we are going again?” I didn’t say, but I will show you.”

You are still thinking about all this and ask, “Should I leave my other gods here, all the idols we have worshiped for generations?” Now God mutters under his breath, “Who does he think I am?” Then with a bit of exasperation God exclaims, “Of course you should get rid of the idols; from now on I will be your God.” “But,” you answer, “I don’t even know your name.” “My name is not important right now, just do as I tell you” says God. You hesitate for a few minutes, scratching your head, then you ask “Are you sure I can trust you? And where did you say we are going again?”

Journey.jpgThat’s how most of us would have responded to God—part of the reason we are not the “father of the faith.” Abraham was no fool. He wasn’t gullible or easily pushed around (his actions displayed throughout his life prove that). He was not stupid, but neither was he set in his ways and stubborn. He was a bright man who was smart enough and decisive enough to perceive the truth. He put his life, his family, his possessions and his whole future in the hands of God—and God would not let him down.

“So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions which they had gathered, and the persons that they had gotten in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan,” (Genesis 12:4-5).

“And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. . . . By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go” (Hebrews 11:6, 8).

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Claudia Mair Burney January 7, 2008 at 11:20 PM

Are you kidding me, Steve? I’m not sure most of us would have gotten to the, “where do you want me to go” question, much less engaged God all the way to giving up idols! What I find amazing is that despite our penchant for tuning Him out, a few of us will talk to Him, and keep talking, and fewer still will actually sell all we have to follow Him.

I want to be in that number. This is inspiring.

I love what you’re doing here. God’s blessings on your work.
mair

John Freidenfelt January 11, 2008 at 6:15 PM

I would like to think I would not respond with that many questions if I had a conversation like that. I would like to think that my only concern would be if this was really Him, my imagination or the bad guy messing with me. Other than that were do I sign?
John.

Kathy January 14, 2008 at 10:54 PM

I am trying to know if God is speaking to me. My husband lost his job only ro find another one seventeen hundred miles apart. I am tryong to sell our house and raise three kids alone for fourteen months now. Don't you think if God was talking to me He would of sent us a buyer by now. I think He wqants us all together here. What do you think?

STEVE RAY HERE: Please feel free to post this question on my Discussion Forum at http://forums.catholicconvert.com for the help of many others who can share in your distress. I understand and hope you can receive help from the members on my Board.

Susan January 15, 2008 at 8:43 AM

I have never understood this command to sell everything and follow Him. For example, I have three kids in Catholic school (grades 6, 10, 11). Sell everything, disrupt their lives, and wait for instructions? I don't know about that. And, of course, that makes me feel like the wealthy young man in the gospel. I hope that I can continue to grow in my faith by not having any attachment to my "things" and that my husband and I can teach our children the same thing. That, in itself, requires an effort of faith. But, is that enough? I don't know.

STEVE RAY HERE: You are correct in your sentiments. God does not expect you and your husband to sell everything and live on the street begging. It is a matter of attachment to worldly goods. Where is your heart? In heaven or on earth? What do you love — your family and God, or things and sin? That is the heart of the message. However, God does call some to extreme decisions, but the rest are to work quietly with their own hands taking care of their own families and making enough to share with others. This is the message of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. Please feel free to post your comments on http://forums.catholicconvert.com where you will correspond with many others like you.

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