Before we get into the Bible story of Abram
(later known as Abraham)
I want to set the picture.
Abram was a descendant of Noah, through the line of Shem.
He was married to Sarai
(later known as Sarah)
They lived in the city of UR
Ur was a very large city in today's Iraq.
At that time it was part of the Chaldean Empire
and was contemporary to Ancient Egypt.
Both are great civilizations of this time period.
Both had great wealth,
advanced cultures with
art, writing and monuments.
At this time the universal language was Babylonian.
So no matter what your native language was,
everyone also spoke Babylonian
which made it easy to travel and trade.
I like think it is important
to have a good understanding
of what the world was like in this time.
I have always pictured it poor and dirty and drab.
But it was anything but!
Below is a video that will give you
a drone's eye view of what Babylon looked like.
Ur would've looked very similar:
I was impressed with the size of this city and the beauty.
The only thing I believe erroneous
is that there should be thousands of people milling around.
Probably hundreds of thousands....
Abram was known at "The First Hebrew"
and all of his descendants through Isaac are Jewish,
and all of his descendants through Ishmael are Muslim.
Thus Abram is called "The Father of Judism and Islam"
Abram was set apart in God's eyes from others
in that he had a deep faith in Him.
Although the world was not as evil as it was in the Days of Noah,
Idol worship was dominating the culture once again.
There is a legend told of Abram,
when he was a young man,
that reveals his feelings for God.
Abram's father, Terah, was a merchant who sold idols.
When Terah was not there, Abram would watch the business.
One day when Abram was left in charge,
Abram took a hammer and smashed all the idols except for the largest one.
Into the hands of the largest Idol, Abram placed the hammer.
When Terah returned he was furious---his business was ruined!
All his merchandise destroyed!
It was a huge financial loss.
"What happened??!!" Terah demanded of Abram.
Abram explained that after Terah left
all of the idols got into a fight
and that the big one used a hammer
to smash all the other idols.
Terah responded, "Don't be ridiculous!
Idols have no strength or power!
They cannot do anything!"
"Exactly" said Abram,
"So why do you worship them?"
It was because of Abram's strong faith in God
that God took Abram on an amazing journey.
God called upon Abram to leave Ur,
the city he knew and loved,
where he was wealthy and comfortable
and to leave it all behind and go to a foreign land
where he knew no one.
Could you do that?
Could you just walk away from your life and go to some foreign place
in this world? Leaving behind friends, family,
pets and your home and things?
Left only to that, the story of Abram would teach us
the importance of having faith in our God.
But Abram's story is a long one and gives us
many examples of the importance of keeping our trust and faith
in God to lead us.
And like Abram, if we go to where He leads us to be,
we will have great reward....
(although often not in the way we expected!)