Present day signs of the end

Abraham, The Father Of All Believers


After Babel, idolatry again became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham of the line of Shem and made him the keeper of His law for future generations. God has ever preserved a remnant to preserve the precious revealings of His will. The son of Terah became the inheritor of this holy trust. Uncorrupted by the prevailing apostasy, he steadfastly adhered to the worship of God. The Lord communicated His will to Abraham and gave him a knowledge of His law and of salvation through Christ. From Eternity Past 74.1

There was given to Abraham the promise, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” To this was added the assurance that of his line the Redeemer of the world should come: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Yet, as the first condition of fulfillment, there was to be a test of faith; a sacrifice was demanded. EP 74.2

The message of God came to Abraham, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” Abraham must be separated from the influence of kindred and friends. His character must be peculiar, differing from all the world. He could not even explain his action so as to be understood by his friends. His motives were not comprehended by his idolatrous kindred. EP 74.3

Abraham’s unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith in all the Bible. See Hebrews 11:8. Relying upon the divine promise, he abandoned home and kindred and native land and went forth to follow where God should lead. “By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob.” Hebrews 11:9. EP 74.4

There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his kindred, and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He had no question to ask concerning the land of promise—whether the soil was fertile, the climate healthful. The happiest place on earth was the place where God would have him to be. EP 75.1

Many are still tested as was Abraham. They do not hear the voice of God speaking directly from heaven, but He calls them by the teachings of His Word and the events of providence. They may be required to abandon a career that promises wealth and honor, and separate from kindred to enter upon what appears to be a path of self-denial and sacrifice. God has a work for them to do; the influence of friends and kindred would hinder it. EP 75.2

Who is ready at the call of Providence to renounce cherished plans, accept new duties, and enter untried fields? He who will do this has the faith of Abraham and will share with him that “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17. See also Romans 8:18. EP 75.3

The call from heaven first came to Abraham in “Ur of the Chaldees,” and in obedience he moved to Haran.Thus far his father’s family accompanied him. Here Abraham remained till the death of Terah. EP 75.4

Into the Unknown

But from his father’s grave the divine voice bade him go forward.Besides Sarah, the wife of Abraham, only Lot chose to share the patriarch’s pilgrim life. Abraham possessed extensive flocks and numerous servants. He was never to return, and he took with him all that he had, “their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran.” In Haran both Abraham and Sarah had led others to the worship of the true God. These accompanied him to the land of promise, “the land of Canaan.” EP 75.5

The place where they first tarried was Shechem. In a wide, grassy valley, with its olive groves and gushing springs, Abraham made his encampment. It was a fair and goodly country, “a land of brooks of water, … of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.” Deuteronomy 8:7, 8. But a heavy shadow rested upon wooded hill and fruitful plain. In the groves were set up the altars of false gods, and human sacrifices were offered upon the neighboring heights. EP 76.1

Then “the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” His faith was strengthened by this assurance. “And there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Still a wayfarer, he soon removed to a spot near Bethel and again erected an altar and called upon the name of the Lord. EP 76.2

Abraham set us a worthy example.His was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched his tent, close beside was set up his altar, calling all within his encampment to the morning and evening sacrifice. When his tent was removed, the altar remained. Roving Canaanites received instruction from Abraham, and wherever one of these came to that altar, he there worshiped the living God. EP 76.3

Why God Permitted Abraham to Suffer Famine

Abraham continued to journey southward, and again his faith was tested. The heavens withheld their rain, and the flocks and herds found no pasture. Starvation threatened the whole encampment. All were eagerly watching to see what Abraham would do, as trouble after trouble came. So long as his confidence appeared unshaken, they felt that there was hope; they were assured that God was his friend and that He was still guiding him. EP 76.4

Abraham held fast the promise, “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”He would not allow circumstances to shake his faith in God’s word. To escape the famine he went down to Egypt. He did not in his extremity turn back to the Chaldean land from which he came, but sought a temporary refuge as near as possible to the Land of Promise. EP 77.1

The Lord in His providence had brought this trial upon Abraham to teach him lessons for the benefit of all who should afterward be called to endure affliction. God does not forget or cast off those who put their trust in Him. The trials that task our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us are to lead us closer to Christ. We may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange. EP 77.2

It is in the heat of the furnace that the dross is separated from the true gold of Christian character. By close, testing trials God disciplines His servants. He sees that some have powers which may be used in the advancement of His work. In His providence He brings them into positions that test their character and reveal weaknesses hidden from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to correct these defects.He shows them their own weakness and teaches them to lean upon Him.Thus they are educated, trained, and disciplined, prepared to fulfill the grand purpose for which their powers were given them. Heavenly angels can unite with them in the work to be accomplished on earth. EP 77.3

Abraham’s Sad Mistake

In Egypt, Abraham gave evidence that he was not free from human weakness. Sarah was “fair to look upon,” and he doubted not that the Egyptians would covet the beautiful stranger and slay her husband. He reasoned that he was not guilty of falsehood in representing Sarah as his sister, for she was the daughter of his father, though not of his mother.EP 77.4

But this was deception. Through Abraham’s lack of faith, Sarah was placed in great peril. The king of Egypt caused her to be taken to his palace, intending to make her his wife. But the Lord, in His great mercy, protected Sarah by sending judgment upon the royal household.By this means the monarch learned the deception practiced upon him. He reproved Abraham, saying, “What is this that thou hast done unto me? …Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.” EP 78.1

Pharaoh’s dismissal of Abraham was kind and generous, but he bade him leave Egypt. He had ignorantly been about to do him a serious injury, but God had saved the monarch from committing so great a sin. Pharaoh saw in this stranger a man whom God honored. Should Abraham remain in Egypt, his increasing wealth and honor would likely excite the envy or covetousness of the Egyptians, and some injury might be done him which might again bring judgments upon the royal house. EP 78.2

The matter could not be kept secret, and it was seen that the God whom Abraham worshiped would protect His servant and that any injury done him would be avenged. It is a dangerous thing to wrong one of the children of the King of heaven.The psalmist says that God “reproved kings for their sakes; saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.” Psalm 105:14, 15.EP 78.3


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