Myth Buster – Abraham was an Idolator

Hey! I am so excited to inform you of a brand new series. Every week I will be examining a quote about people or an event in the Bible that we have heard very often among church folks. Stuff we have heard so often that they become Christians legends. They are like urban legends. It sounds good so we repeat it without much thought. We simply accept them without asking any questions.

When we approach the Word of God in this way we do not benefit. We must actively engage with the words and seek out the truths as one searches for treasures. It can radically change our life for the better. “It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8). Failure to engage in rigorous analysis of the scriptures and the doctrines may cause us to be mislead.

We seek to examine these seemingly harmless statements to show how your life can be further enriched.

Did Abraham Worship Idols?

Did God call an idol worshiper and establish him as the father of many nations? If we examine where he lived and the custom of the people around him we may be lead to believe that this is true.

Abraham lived with his father, Terah, in the land of Ur. It was located in Chaldean a nation, in Mesopotamia. The Mesopotamians worshipped many gods but the people of Ur worshipped one God. The website Bible-history.com states that their God was the moon-god Nanna. It was in this city that Abraham lived with his father. At the time his name was Abram.

4-Abraham-journey-2l
Image courtesy of Bible-History.com {link at Journeys of Abraham}

Abraham’s Heritage

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family And from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”     Genesis 12:1-3

If we take the conversation with God in isolation from the series of events that occurred before he was called, it would be reasonable to assume that he was an idolater.

It shows that God was very merciful and perhaps a bit desperate, so he selected a man that never knew of him. So God tells him, “listen you had better leave them behind, if you want to prosper. I want to take you to your next level. Come! I have a rich and fertile land for you. You will prosper in it. I am going to make you great. I am going to heap riches on you, etc, etc. All you have to do is worship me“. Well that last part would be implicit in the covenant. Wouldn’t it?

So Abraham embarks on this nomadic journey that takes him to the land of Canaan. He then walks out the land, until he receives the promise that God will make him a father of nations.  His name is then changed from Abram, meaning “exalted (high) father”, to Abraham, “father of a multitude”. He is also is told that his future generations will inherit the land that he’s prophetically claimed.

But did everything start with him? When God makes a Covenant he does it for generations. He is not interested in only dealing with you and ending it there. He wants you, your children, your children’s children, and their children. All the way to thousands of generations.

To understand the origins of the relationship with Abraham analyse the relationship of God with his bloodline. They were descendants of Enoch. A man that was so tight with God that he never saw death. God said, “listen your time down there is done. Come stay with me. We can continue hanging together for eternity.” After 365 years he was gone. There was no burial. No body was available. He just changed into a glorified body.

And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.     Genesis 5:24

This man left a legacy of worship. His generations were faithful to God. Before Enoch made his exit he had many children. His son Methuselah carried on the heritage. Two generations later Noah came. After the flood, Noah’s got drunk. One of his son exposed his nakedness but the others showed respect for their father. Shem covered his father’s nakedness (Genesis 9:25-27). This son received the blessings from his father and produced righteous generations. Abraham’s father, Terah, was his 8th descendant.

Please observe what happened with Terah. He lived in Ur a land occupied by the Mesopotamian nation called the Chaldees. He had three sons. One died-Haran. Later He left that land ‘to go to Canaan’ (Genesis 11:31). This is the same land that Abram received instructions to visit.

I believed the intended destination of the Father is mentioned because the Bible is saying look here. The covenant was made with Terah first. He started but he did not finish the journey. He stopped and brought land. Named it Haran, after his deceased son and died in that land.

It was after his death that God told Abram to continue the journey.

Later Abraham sends his servant to seek a bride for his son Isaac. She could not be just any bride. She had to come from his family bloodline. A direct descendant of his father. God had forbidden them from marrying into the idolatrous families around them.

When the servant went to His brother Nahor’s house to get the bride. His children acknowledged the god of their father (Terah). Laban his son subsequently fell into idol worship but the promise still remained (Genesis 31:19,30-34).

A hundred years later Jacob went to seek a wife from this household. When he secretly left because he feared for his life. Laban pursued him and was rebuked by God in a dream. They later settled their dispute by an oath. The oath was not bound as a covenant to Laban’s idols. It was made between them and the God of their forefather, Terah. The same God whom Abraham worshiped.

Then Laban said to Jacob, “Here is this heap and here is this pillar, which I have placed between you and me. This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. The God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of their father judge between us.” And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac.     Genesis 31:51-53

How Is This Applicable to You

Abraham’s journey had many tests and trials. He did not have the Holy Spirit to provide him with daily guidance. After God spoke with Abraham, he never heard from him for years. Abraham made many mistakes. Sometimes he gave into his fear and lied. He became impatient and capitulated to the pressures from his wife but he never lost hope in the promise of God. Never once did he loose faith and turn to another God. His faithfulness was rewarded 25 years later with an eternal covenant.

Every believer is a recipient of Abraham’s blessings. We are among the multitude that are blessed because of his faithfulness. Not only us but our children up to even to a 1,000 generations, once we remain faithful to God.

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.     Exodus 20:6

Do not despair if you have waited for a long time and some of God promises remain unfulfilled. Do whatever He tells you. He will lead you into the promise. You will receive all that He has for you.

It was evident to the people around that God was with Abraham. The sons of Heth acknowledged how his wealth by saying “you are a mighty prince among us” (Genesis 23:6). Although, he moved from location to location, God kept enriching him. His household exceeded 320 fighting man! I am sure when you add women and children this was double this number. These were people who served him, his wife and children. As you maintain your relationship with God and move in obedience to what he tells you, it will be evident that He is with you. It may not be seen initially. Be patient. It will definitely show at some point. God will prosper. He rewards faithfulness. Don’t believe me? Please see the blessings of obedience in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, respectively.

Record every prophetic word you receive. If any is not fulfilled in your lifetime God will fulfill His word in to your children. They will be blessed because of your relationship with Him.

Generational Blessing

We must strive to leave a spiritual inheritance for future generations. It breaks the generational cycles of iniquity and poverty.

It is good to leave a financial inheritance. Proverbs tells us that a good man leaves and inheritance for three generations (Genesis 13:22). That is good but it is most important to leave a spiritual heritage. It is the best foundation on which they may build. They will not face the struggles of their peers. When others are being lured by temptation, peer pressure, addictions and other ills your children will have the inner strength to resist. God will build an hedge of protection around them. If they fall to temptation they will be put back on the right track.

We must be faithful. We must teach the children to be faithful. You must pray constantly for them. It will ensure that they are saved and that they walk in righteousness.

God will appear to them and lead them into the promise.

 

 

 

Photo credit:

Image courtesy of Abraham’s Journey from Ur to Canaan by József Molnár {link at Creative Commons}

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