Abraham’s Legacy and Blessing

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD Deuteronomy 6:4

There are many blessings given to mankind through the faithfulness of Abraham, but the key blessing is to recognize the sovereignty of the One who is the source of all blessings.  Abraham gave that legacy not only to Israel, but to all of his children.  And as Paul wrote some years after Moses penned the above verse,  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Rom 11:29   Abraham had different seed by Hagar, Sarah and Keturah and different blessings were given to these seeds.  The blessing that Christians are most interested in is the blessing through Isaac.  But, this does not nullify the blessings given to the other offspring.  For example, the angel blessed Ishmael and Isaac blessed Esau with their individual and unique blessings.   It goes without saying that some of  the blessings were greater than others. However,  all of Abraham’s children had the blessing of the knowledge of the true God and that “The LORD our God is one LORD:”

Once Abram had firmly established his own belief in one God, then there began an outworking of that belief to his family members – starting with his father, Terah.   Abram came to his father’s house and played along with the ritual of setting food and drink offerings before the twelve idols.  And Abram viewed them, and behold they had neither voice nor hearing, nor did one of them stretch forth his hand to the meat to eat.  And in the evening of that day in that house Abram was clothed with the spirit of God.  And called out and said, Woe unto my father and this wicked generation, whose hearts are all inclined to vanity, who serve these idols of wood and stone which can neither eat, smell, hear nor speak … And when Abram saw all these things his anger was kindled against his father, and he hastened and  took a hatchet in his hand, and came unto the chamber of the gods, and he broke all his father’s gods.  And when he done breaking the images, he placed the hatchet in the hand of the great god which was there before them and he went out;  … Jash 11:30-34

Naturally, when Terah came in and saw all the destruction, he called Abram on the carpet to explain how all this happened.  Abram told him that he had offered meat  before the gods and the small gods all reached forth there hands to eat before the great god could eat.  Then the great god saw this and took a hatchet and chopped up the small gods – and the hatchet was still in the hand of the great god.  And Terah’s anger was kindled against his son Abram, when he spoke this; and Terah said to Abram his son in anger, What is this tale that thou hast told? Thou speakest lies to me.  Is there in these gods spirit, soul or power to do all thou hast told me.  Are they not wood and stone, and have I not myself made them, and canst thou speak such lies, saying that the large god that was with them smote them?  It is thou that didst place the hatchet in his hands, and then sayest he smote them all.  And Abram answered his father and said to him, And how canst thou then serve these idols in whom there is no power to do any thing?  Can those idols in whom thou trustest deliver thee?  Can they hear thy prayers when thou callest upon them.  can they deliver thee from the hands of thy enemies, that thou shouldst serve wood and stone which can neither speak nor hear?  Jash 11:41-43

After Abram’s destruction of the idols, one event led to another so that it became known to King Nimrod that he had been deceived about Abram being killed as a child – and here he was stirring up trouble in Nimrod’s kingdom.  Nimrod confronted him and Abram replied:  O foolish, simple and ignorant king, woe unto thee forever.  I thought thou wouldst teach thy servants the upright way, but thou has not done this, but hast filled the whole earth with thy sins and the sins of thy people who have followed thy ways.  Dost thou not know, or has   thou not heard, that this evil which thou doest, our ancestors sinned therein days of old, and the eternal God brought the waters of the flood upon them and destroyed them all, and also destroyed the whole earth on their account?  …  Jash 11:56-58

Predictably, Nimrod was not pleased with this assault on his dignity and threw him in jail and sentenced him to be burned to death in a furnace – and so Abram was bound with linen cords and cast into the furnace.  And the Lord loved Abram and he had compassion over him, and the Lord came down and delivered Abram from the fire and he was not burned.  But all the cords which they bound him were burned, while Abram remained and walked about in the fire.  …  And Abram walked in the midst of the fire three days and three  nights, and all the servants of king saw him walking in the fire, and they came and told the king.  … And when the king heard their words, his heart fainted …  Jash 11:24-28 Eventually, we reach the point discussed in Genesis when Terah and Abram left Ur of Chaldees and departed for Canaan.  And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, the wife of his son Abram, and all the souls of his household and went with them from Ur Casdim to go to the land of Canaan. … Jash 13:1                                                                                  

GEN 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

From the writings of Dayspring from on High.

Why Abraham

GEN 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. 12:1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The Old Testament does not really outline why Abraham was chosen.  Yes, it is true that the scriptures verify that Abraham was a great man of faith and he believed God.  Further, his faith was drastically tested and he passed the test.  However, what were the circumstances that led to God picking Abraham in the first place?  The account of Abram’s being called out is given in the Book of Jasher.  Some of you may remember the phrase, “written in the Book of Jasher” which is a direct quote from Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18.  When we understand why Abram was called out, we can then understand his legacy as a blessing to the earth and his seed.

The Book of Jasher gives us some general background about Abram.  Abram was born in the days of King Nimrod in the times before the tower of Babel fell.  His Father Terah was a chief military officer in Nimrod’s army.  All of the earth was of one tongue and words of union, but Nimrod did not go in the ways of the Lord, and he was more wicked than all the men that were before him, from the days of the flood until those days.  And he made gods of wood and stone, and he bowed down to them, and he rebelled against the Lord, and taught all his subjects and the people of the earth his wicked ways; and Mardon his son was more wicked than  his father. Jasher 7:46, 47.  Abram was also a contemporary of Noah and Shem and secretly visited them at times to receive instruction in the ways of the Lord.  So this sets the stage for the advent of the birth of Abram who the Lord called to turn away the earth from worship of many idolatrous gods.

The birth of Abram has many similarities to the birth of Jesus.  On the night that he was born, the wise men and conjurors saw a large star swallow up four other stars.  They were alarmed for King Nimrod and made this report to him.  And thy servants were astonished at the sight which we saw, and were greatly terrified, and we made our judgment upon the sight, and knew by our wisdom the proper interpretation thereof, that this thing applies to the child that is born to Terah, who will grow up and multiply greatly, become powerful, and kill all kings of the earth, and inherit all their lands, he and his seed forever.  … If it seemeth good to the king to give his father value for this child, we will slay him before he shall grow up and increase in the land … Jasher 8:11, 13  Much like the story of Herod and the child Jesus, it was thought that Abram was killed, but he was secretly taken to a cave for 10 years and then later to Noah and Shem.

Later Abram returned to Terah’s house.  And Terah had twelve gods of large size, made of wood and stone, after the twelve months of the year, and he served each one monthly, and every month Terah would bring his meat offering and drink offer to his gods; thus did Terah all the days. Jash 9:8  When Abram saw all this he pondered within his heart the meaning.  And Abram saw the sun shining upon the earth, and Abram said unto himself Surely now this sun that shines upon the earth is God, and him will I serve.  And Abram served the sun in that day and he prayed to him, and when even came the sun set as usual, and Abram said within himself, Surely this cannot be God.  …  And Abram saw the stars and moon before him, and he said, Surely this is the God who created the whole earth as well as man, and behold these his servants are gods around him, and Abram served the moon and prayed to it that night. And in the morning when it was light and sun shone upon the earth as usual, Abram saw all the things that the Lord God had made upon earth.  And Abram said unto himself  Surely these are not gods that made the earth and all mankind, but these are the servants of God; and Abram remained in the house of Noah and there knew the Lord and his ways, and he served the Lord all the days of his life, and all that generation [Nimrod’s] forgot the Lord, and served other gods of wood and stone, and rebelled all their days.  Jash 9:13-15, 17-19.

From the writings of Dayspring. [To be continued].