There are two important points about the call of Abraham.
First, when God called Abraham, he made it clear to him that his family was NOT welcome.
God was calling him to a complete separation from his past and everything he held dear.
To Abraham, this must have been a terrifying prospect.
He had to leave his own homeland and become an unprotected wanderer abroad.
In addition, in a society where one’s culture and family were of the highest importance and held in the greatest esteem, it could not have been easy for Abraham to have to reject his father’s pagan values and standards.
Second, why did God choose Abraham out of all the people of the earth to become the one through whom He would bring about a holy nation unto Himself?
I would like to share the following excerpt I got from a heavy volume titled The Jewish Study Bible.
“In Genesis chapter 12, these extraordinary promises come like a bolt from the blue, an act of God’s grace alone; no indication has been given as to why or even whether Abram merits them.”-The Jewish Study Bible, page 30, commentary on Genesis Chapter 12
This passage is similar to the Mishna excerpt I quoted in a previous lesson regarding why Noah was considered worthy of the salvation that God extended to him.
The conclusion in both of these cases was that neither Noah nor Abraham merited their election from God.
It was all God’s grace.
I mention this again because of the common misconception that grace began in the New Testament era.
This is just not true! I reiterate pretty much word for word what I said in an earlier lesson.
The Hebrews did NOT believe they could work there way into heaven.
Their obedience to God’s laws was predicated on their gratefulness to God for saving them.
Even in the Old Testament (and boy I sure hate to use the term Old Testament), the pattern set down is salvation first and then obedience to God’s ways.
Remember God saved Israel from Egypt first and then gave them His Torah.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”- Luke 14:26
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”-Matthew 19:29