Why is Abraham important? Some say he is the "father" of three important religious systems - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (But what do you say? Is Abraham important to you? If so, why?)
(He is important to me because his story teaches the key of life for all people regardless of their religious affiliations. His example, that we call the Abraham Principle, can bring all people together in the one family of God.)
These three major religious systems greatly differ. Each declares the others to be false faiths fit only for the foolish. How strange. This is akin to three children all saying they have the same father but that father taught them three different sets of values. Then this claim quickly changes and (in effect) becomes, "We all have the same father but he only favors one of us. So the other's claims are worthless. The other two are cursed and are really illegitimate."
The Bible's story of Abraham says he had eight children. God's first covenant to Abraham was the land gift to him and all of his descendents. Along with that gift was the promise his descendents will be as numerous as the stars in heaven; and, the world would be blessed because of him. (Genesis 17:1-8.) When given his covenant from God his name was changed from Abram to Abraham. Abraham means "father of many nations." Circumcision was the mark of that covenant. Abraham and all of his household - including Ishmael - were circumcised at the same time on the same day.
But the covenant was conditioned on the requirement that Abraham "walk with me (God) and be blameless." (Genesis 17:1.) This covenant requirement was repeated in detail in Deuteronomy 28.
HOW Do you understand this ?
Well, lets try to make sense from it.
Something more is here. The covenant is not limited to one land space. Many nations require many lands. Also, it is a covenant that includes and is dependent on faith - walking with God and being "blameless."
Those who claim Abraham is the father of their religious system track their beginnings back to his earthly offspring of Isaac and Ishmael. The Bible recounts that Abraham also had a second marriage to Keturah and had six children with her. Four of those children are ignored and lost to history. (Genesis 25:1-6.) For Jews and Christians this is another sign that Abraham's offspring will be the people of the whole world. Thus, his covenant is not geographical, but spiritual. Here is how:
Because everyone must be somewhere, a geographical place was necessary for the first covenanted people to congregate and develop. This obvious fact of life was restated when God appointed Moses to lead the Jews from Egypt back to Canaan. Palestine (Canaan) was their schoolhouse and their schoolyard. God put a "fence" around it by making it a theocratic nation. Jews had to be separated from the entire world that was polytheistic and pagan.
(Later Jews were taken out of that land and scattered throughout the world when the Roman General Titus destroyed their schoolhouse - Israel and the Temple [AD 70].) See the "curse of the law" explained in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and especially verse 63.
What was the curriculum for Abraham's and Moses' school?
We already know God had commanded, "walk with me (God) and be blameless." But how do we learn that and hot to do it? What in the school house experience teaches this?
Abraham does that by his example. He is our teacher and schoolmaster whose example is what he did. Moses followed Abraham's example.
We learn the key to life by examining what he did to receive the great blessing of his first and basic covenant. It is the common bond all people have with Father Abraham, that was ignored earlier by Adam and Eve. Regardless of competing religious systems, diverse doctrines, rituals, liturgies and customs, all will agree on the ABRAHAM PRINCIPLE. This principle, once understood, can bring all people together. It is the principle of "unself" - selfless surrender to God's will. The key to life is agreeing to do God's will in all things. That is the beginning of our walk with him and God will make us blameless.
When that is done, God will "write his rules on our hearts and minds," (Jeremiah 31:31ff.). Then we will understand God and our purpose in this life. Spiritual competition can end, and the time will come when we can peacefully harmonize with each other as "The Brotherhood of Mankind under the Fatherhood of God."
The ABRAHAM PRINCIPLE is this. It is blind faith - trusting in God for all things. Give yourself totally to God and follow his lead in blind trust, regardless of your own desires. In prayer tell God you wish to be as submitted to his will as was Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Paul, and all the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles.
Regardless of the doctrines you have been taught, and the words and liturgies you have been told to use, this prayer is a matter of attitude. See http://www.beatitudes-101.info/ Your words are not important if in your mind and "heart" you are willing to have God direct your life.
Are you willing to do as Abraham did? Will you "let go and let God?" Will you give yourself to your maker now as you will be required to do at the end of your life on this earth?
Try this simple prayer. This is the key to life, both here and for the hereafter. It will bring you into the Kingdom of Heaven for a life of peace, abundance, hope and helpfulness.
"Father, help me do what Abraham did and trust you with my life. I ask you take over my life, be my guide and protector. Help me totally trust you for all my needs. Put into my mind and heart your Spirit. Rebuild me so I can walk with you and be blameless. Amen"
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