Author: Ron Graham
Adventures of Abraham
—And symbols of God’s Son
Time —1. Promises to Abraham
Figures —Abraham Isaac Jacob
Begins with —God's call to Abram
Ends with —Jacob's family settling in Egypt
In this lesson we look at the sojourns and adventures of Abraham, along with his wife Sarah. The lesson is drawn from Genesis, chapters 12 through 22.
1 A Promise to Abraham
God called Abraham, and Abraham obeyed the call. God promised that Abraham would be the father of multitudes. This was remarkable, because Abraham and Sarah were childless. Sarah was barren.
But that's not all. When Abraham and Sarah tried to remedy the situation by using Sarah's maid as a surrogate, God gently but decisively rejected the resulting child, Ishmael.
God reiterated his promise that Sarah would bear a son herself. This son would be named Isaac, and through Isaac the promises would come true.
Behind Abraham's story is his faith. He might have found God's promises and commands hard to believe and obey, but he believed and obeyed them nevertheless, and so was justified. (Hebrews 11:8-19, Romans 4:3,16-25).
2 Bible Summary (Genesis 12-18)
- Call of Abram (12)
- Abram misleads Pharaoh about Sarah (12)
- Abram and Lot separate (13)
- Abram rescues Lot from Northern kings (14)
- Abram pays tithes to Melchizedek (14)
- Abram refuses gifts from Sodom (14)
- The promises of God to Abram who believed (15)
- Hagar, Sarai's maid, runs away (16)
- Hagar returns, bears Ishmael (16)
- Abram and Sarai's names are subtly changed (17)
- God promises a son; Abraham laughs (17)
- Abraham receives covenant of circumcision (17)
- Three visitors repeat God's promise; Sarah laughs (18)
3 Symbols of God’s Son
God waited until Sarah and Abraham were well beyond the years of producing children. Then God worked a miracle so Isaac was conceived and born.
This, combined with the later story of Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice, is strikingly symbolic. Isaac was a unique and special Son. Abraham loved Isaac very dearly. He believed that if he were killed, God would raise him from the dead (Hebrews 11:17-19).
After the birth of Isaac, Ishmael (Abraham's son by Hagar) was cast out of the family. Paul shows us that this story, although true, is also an allegory (Galatians 4:21-31).
Even long before the conception of Isaac, Abraham and Melchizedek met. The transactions between them were symbolic, and God's oath recognized this (Genesis 14, Hebrews 5-8, Psalms 110:4)
So these real events in Abraham's life are "types" or figures of the time when Abraham's more distant son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross and made eternal life possible for all (John 3:16).
4 Bible Summary (Genesis 18-22)
- God determines to destroy Sodom (18)
- Abraham pleads for the few righteous (18)
- Lot entertains angels whom Sodomites try to molest (19)
- Flight from Sodom; Lot's wife looks back (19)
- Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed (19)
- Lot's daughters become pregnant to him (19)
[Hence the Ammonites and Moabites]
- Abraham misleads Abimelech about Sarah (20)
- Sarah bears Isaac (21)
- Hagar and Ishmael cast out (21)
- God provides for Hagar and Ishmael in the desert (21)
[Hence the Edomites]
- Abraham and Abimelech make a pact at Beersheba (21)
- Abraham commanded to sacrifice Isaac (22)