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Understanding the Faith of Abraham

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Understanding the Faith of Abraham by Ray Vander Laan Abraham and Sarah and Three Strangers The Bible opens with the story of God bringing order out of watery chaos. His amazing creative work accomplished, God entrusted it to the care of our human ancestors, Adam and Eve. He gave them the responsibility to care for it and the freedom to choose how to rule and manage it. From that point on, the biblical story reveals a series of disappointing choices made by God’s human partners that resulted in the return of chaos to God’s created order. Adam and Eve chose to eat from the one tree God had forbidden. Their oldest son, Cain, murdered his brother, Abel. With each passing generation, humankind became increasingly corrupt and wicked. By the time Noah entered the story, the heart of God was deeply troubled because... every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. — Genesis 6:5 In order to end the evil, God wiped the human race from the face of the earth, sparing only the family of Noah because he was a righteous man who walked with God. But even the cleansing of the Great Flood didn’t change things for long. Noah’s grandchildren refused to “fill the earth” as God had instructed, preferring to settle together and make a name for themselves by building a city with a great tower — as if to challenge God Himself (Genesis 9:1-11:8). Surprisingly, God did not give up on His human partners! After generations of silence, the story picks up again with Terah, Abraham’s father, leaving Ur of the Chaldeans (believed to be near the city of Mosul in northern Iraq) to move his family to Canaan. They did not complete the journey, but settled in Harran, a few miles north of today’s Turkish/Syrian border (Genesis 11:27-32). After Terah died, God commanded Abraham to leave his present life — land, community, and even family — and “go to the land I will show you.” The offer came with the promise of great blessing — a message of hope and mission not just for Abraham, but for him to be a conduit of God’s blessing to all people on earth (Genesis 12:1-3). God was asking Abraham to turn his back on the life he had known and to become His partner in redeeming a world in chaos! In a dramatic reversal of the choices many earlier characters in the biblical story made, Abraham committed himself to do what was right and just in the eyes of the Lord. Responding in faith, he left Harran. From that point on, Abraham would be different; he walked God’s path and taught his children to do the same: Then the Lord said... “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what He has promised him." — Genesis 18:17, Genesis 18:19 Whereas Adam and Eve failed to faithfully obey God, Abraham eagerly demonstrated what a faithful partnership with God looks like. By choosing to be God’s partner in restoring shalom to a world in chaos and bringing alienated sinners back into relationship with God, Abraham became a model for all who have come after him. The Jewish writer, Matthew, certainly intended to communicate more than just biological descent when he began Jesus’ family tree with Abraham. Although Abraham could never effect the changes in a sinful world that the Messiah did, this Bedouin nomad lived in a way that showed how the world could be when God’s people live according to his design. Since everyone who places his or her faith in Jesus is in effect a child of Abraham (Galatians 3:7-9), let’s discover more about this faithful partner who lived to be a blessing to everyone he met. The Very Words of 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." — Genesis12:1-3

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1 Sara Di Diego = ""Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That the World May Know Ministries. Ray has been a teacher for more than 30 years, and is currently the religion instructor at Holland Christian Schools in Western Michigan."That the World May Know Ministries is focused on teaching the Bible in historical context.  Thus Laan produces films explaining Bible stories in the locations they happened.Work Cited:https://www.thattheworldmayknow.com/"
2 Sara Di Diego = "Right now, Mosul has been captured by Daesh.  Two days ago Daesh executed 300 civil servants who worked for the Iraqi Supreme Electoral Commission in this city.Work Cited:http://www.citypictures.org/data/media/307/Iraq-Mosul_pic.jpghttp://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/08/08/islamic-state-executes-300-civil-servants-in-mosul/"
3 Cary W = "God desires to have such partnership with each and everyone of us, that like Abraham, we may all be conduits of God's blessings to all people on the Earth."
4 Sara Di Diego = "Source:http://www.vagabondjourney.com/photos/1036-harran-turkey-map.GIF"