The Bible’s account of Abraham begins in Genesis chapter 12. However, before entering that text, we need to get our bearings. God has scattered the people from the Tower of Babel (chapter 11). As these clans and tribes spread out, they carry with them the paganism that finds its roots in their now famous building project. Oh, there are some exceptions (Job, Melchizedek to name a few), but by and large the nations are losing sight of the one true God.
Five generations pass, life spans shorten, and spiritual darkness is everywhere. But see, that is one of the amazing things about God. You and I (and all of our relatives both near and far) are fickle, unreliable, and prone to forget the One who gave us life. But God never breaks a promise, and His line will never fail. And so the promise made in Genesis 3:15 echoes through the centuries as God slowly works in human history to bring about His redemptive plan.
And as the curtain rises in Genesis 12, that redemptive plan zooms in on one man. But something is not right. We don’t find some oasis of redemptive truth, some bastion of Yahweh worship. Instead we go to Ur of the Chaldeans, into a pagan land full of pagan people. And God’s light shines on one particular man.
What does God want? What’s the requirement? Faithful obedience to the forsaking of all others. Read more about Following in the Footsteps of Faith: A Study of Abraham