One of the central characters in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament is Abraham. He is also called the “father of faith” because from the moment of he met God at Harran, he formed a bond with Him and believed in all His promises, even that of having a child when Abraham and Sarah were no longer of an age to do so. Thus, they trusted God who promised them a child, Isaac, and it was given to them. The New Testament tells us of Abraham’s blessing, which is granted to all those who believe. Let us find out the story of the patriarch to whom God made this promise: “...and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)
Abraham was the son of Terah and lived in Harran with his family until God revealed Himself to him and asked him to leave everything to travel to a land where he would be blessed and have many descendants. Abraham was a man of faith, the New Testament illustrates this, saying: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.” (Romans 4:18). While at his time it was the worship of idols that reigned, Abraham chose to believe in the true God and thanks to that, he was declared just before God, as it is written: “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
When God asked Abraham to leave his family for an unknown land, Abraham accepted, but took his nephew, Lot, with him. Lot was the son of Haran, Abraham’s brother, who died even before their father Terah. However, having both become very rich, they could not live together with so many possessions, so they had to separate, and Lot went to live in Sodom. Later, he would be justly saved with his daughters when God sent fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, all thanks to Abraham’s intervention.
It was God who changed the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham, which means “father of multitudes”, and Sarah, which means “princess”. Sarah was barren and aging when she and her husband received a visit from the Lord, which reminded them of the promise that they would soon have a son. She was 90 when she bore Isaac. What was impossible for such an old man and woman had been made possible through their faith in God. Indeed, isn’t it written: “(...) “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)?
When they had finally received the child of promise, Isaac, the Lord decided to test Abraham's dedication to him, and He therefore asked him to sacrifice his son. Fortunately, the Bible tells us that: By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:17-19) Abraham’s trust in God exceeded his love for his dear, sweet son; he was close to giving everything to God.
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
“As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” (Genesis 12:11-13)
“So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.” (Genesis 16:3-4)
“So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.” (Genesis 16:15-16)
“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.” (Genesis 17:4-6)
But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” (Genesis 17:21)
By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. (Genesis 19:23-25)
But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:11-12)