Abraham: Studies in His Life

Read Genesis 11:31-32.

These verses introduce us to Abraham—the friend of God—the father of the faithful.

Abraham was a very important man—the Holy Spirit gives him great prominence in a moment.

The first 2000 years of human history are all covered in the first eleven chapters.

Twenty generations—twenty centuries of history.

The second section begins with a record of Abraham, and please note that chapters 12-50 cover only a period of about 400 years, and is entirely devoted to the history of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Abraham’s great grandson Joseph.

The other 38 books of the Old Testament deals with the history of the nation of Israel which sprang from Abraham.

The rest of the Bible is occupied with and centers in Abraham’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible is a book of Redemption, it is the unveiling of God’s plan of redemption.

First it was Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob, his children.

From them came the Christ—they refused Him—and he turned to the Gentiles and became not only the Messiah but the Savior of the world.

Salvation is of the Jews—John 4:22; Romans 1:16.

The Bible being a progressive revelation of the character and plan of God. (Heb. 1). Little time is spent in past history. Eleven short chapters covers 2000 years.

God wastes no time in the past.

For instance: In Genesis 1:1 God tells us all we need to know where the world came from. (10 words). As to our origin the Bible is very brief (27 words). “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”—Genesis 2:7.

God in His word is more concerned with the future of the world, and as to where we are going to spend eternity.

Genesis is the Book of Beginnings—the Seed Plot of the Bible.

1. The beginning of the human race in Adam.

2. The beginning of the post deluvian earth in Noah.

3. The beginning of the chosen nation in Abraham.

Abraham is venerated by Jew, Christian, Mohammedan.

Let us now consider these four men Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph and see if God’s plan is not taking form in their lives and relationship with Him.

In the plan of salvation there are four important steps.

Paul writing to the Romans unveiled these for us.

8:30—“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified them he also glorified.”

Notice now the four words which Paul uses to describe God’s full salvation.


Let us now link these four steps of faith in salvation with the four men in Genesis.

    Abraham is the great example of divine, sovereign predestination.

    Isaac is the great example of divine calling. Abraham chose Ishmael—God said “In Isaac”, etc.

    Jacob is the great example of divine justification. Jacob had nothing to commend him to God. He was justified by divine grace alone, “Jacob have I loved”, etc.

    Joseph is the great example of glorification. Sold by his brothers and left for dead, he becomes ruler in Egypt at the right hand of the king.

Let us now look at this a little closer:

1. Abraham is the example of divine predestination. He was not a Jew when God called him, he was a pagan and an idolator. Yet God passed by the whole nation of Chaldeans and chose Abraham and said to him, “I will make of thee a great nation.” This is nothing else than sovereign grace. God did not see a thing in him that would make him worthy to be called rather than others. But in sovereign grace he chose Abraham. Apply this as the Spirit leads.

2. Isaac is the example of divine calling. The second step in the plan of salvation is “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called.” Abraham could not wait for God’s time, but took matters into his own hands—Ishmael. He loved this boy, but God said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” This was contrary to human reasoning, but he called Isaac.

3. Jacob is the example of divine justification. Jacob—the crook, rascal, cheat, liar, thief, conniver. Why did God choose Jacob? It was Jacob who stole Esau’s birthright, cheated his father, connived with his mother and ran away to his uncle Laban and almost ruined him. But God justified him and loved him. Oh the marvel of God’s grace. Apply this.

4. Joseph is the example of divine glorification. The last step of salvation reads like this, “Whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Joseph was despised by his brothers, cast into a pit, sold for twenty pieces of silver to a heathen band, again resold in Egypt, falsely accused, put in prison, then exalted to the right hand of the king. His brothers despised and rejected him, others falsely accused him. But God raised him up to sit with the king.