God promised that Abraham would become the father of a great nation, receive a land, and bring blessing to all nations.
Abraham migrated with his father Terah from Ur to Haran. After his father's death God called Abraham to go to the land that he would show him where he would make of Abraham a great nation. Abraham went to Canaan with his wife Sarah and nephew Lot. As Abraham and Sarah grew older they had no children, so Abraham fathered a son, Ishmael, through Sarah's servant Hagar. The birth of Ishmael did not fulfill God's promise of a child to Abraham and Sarah so the promise of a great nation remained unrealized. God reaffirmed his promise to give Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven, however, and God made circumcision the sign of his covenant relationship. When Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah bore a son named Isaac. God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac. As they traveled, Isaac asked what they would sacrifice and Abraham replied that God would provide the lamb. As Abraham made ready to sacrifice the boy, God intervened and spared him, and Abraham sacrificed a ram caught in the bushes. The New Testament portrays Abraham as an example of faith, affirming that the promises God made to Abraham extend to all who believe.
AUTHOR: Robert Brusic, Seminary Pastor Emeritus