Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 7

This entry is part 7 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 6: Noah and his family took a cruise. He saved his house; as he’d set out to do. The time for preaching was over, only action proved those that should be saved. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (KJV 1 Pet 3:21). Salvation for them and for us is by obeying the command of God. The ark “condemned the world”, but Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb 11:7).

Part 7

Genesis 12 begins with the story of God speaking to Abram. Abram lived in Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and his father Terah. He was commanded to “get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee” (KJV Gen 12:1). He did as he was told and left the land of Haran at the age of 75. He gets to the land and is instructed by God “Unto thy seed will I give this land” (v.7). Later, he explores the land (Bethel, Egypt, South, & Bethel) starting and ending in Bethel. “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other” (v.11). “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” (vs.14-17).

We can easily follow the story as it happens, but we might have several questions along the way, such as: Why was he selected? Why not his brother Nahor? Why not his father Terah? Why did he have to travel so far from home? Why did God tell him all things after Lot had separated himself from him? Did he seek God? Or did God seek him?

Maimonides, a medieval Jewish philosopher and significant Torah scholars of the middle ages, maintains that Abraham found God through his own reasoning skills. “After this mighty man was weaned, he began to explore and think. Though he was a child, he began to think [incessantly] throughout the day and night, wondering,” until, as a result of his own correct understanding, he reached the truth (Laws of Idolatry, Chapter 1, Halacha 3).

“Once Abraham recognized and understood the ethical God, he began to tell the idolaters that they were not pursuing the true path; he broke their idols and informed the people that it is only proper to serve the God of the world… he stood up and called out in a great voice to the entire world that there is only one God in the entire universe and it is only Him that they must serve. He would walk about, call out and gather people from city to city and from kingdom to kingdom until he reached the land of Canaan, and he called out there in the name of the Lord of the universe. The people would gather around him and ask him questions and he would teach each of them according to their respective knowledge, until he would bring them to the path of truth…” (Riskin, 2012).

Seems like this man was handed down a verbal story of Abram that wasn’t written. This reminds me of a game I played as a child called the telephone game. (One person passes a message to the next person and each person shares with the next as they heard or interpreted. This often produces a message at the end that is far different than the original message.) Does a man who lived in a time period so far removed from the time of Abram know more than what the modern bibles teach us today? “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (KJV Romans 8:32). He has given the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Let us not settle for the controversy of man but lean on God’s word. Reference

Riskin, S. (2012, October 25). Parshat Lech Lecha: Why God chose Abraham. Retrieved from

https://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Judaism/Parshat-Lech-Lecha-Why-God-chose-Abraham.
Series Navigation<< Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 6Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 8 >>