Theology in the unlikely places

What did Abraham achieve to become famous?

The bedouins tent in the sahara, moroccoI am reading a book called “Walking the Bible”. The author of the book travels to the land of the patriarchs and journals his experience of the modern day version of ancient biblical sites.  As he was describing how people stand in line to see a site where Abraham might have attempted to sacrifice Isaac, I asked myself a loaded question. What did Abraham achieve during his lifetime that made him such a celebrity for so many centuries? He did not conquer lands.  He didn’t even build a town. He was a nomad, perhaps a rich one. Yes, he interacted with some political powers of his time but that’s not what he is known for.  It probably never crossed his mind that one day he would achieve such celebrity status.

I have to acknowledge that there are many answers to that question. His life story is part of the most famous book of all times, the Bible. He is known for his faith in ‘one God’, which gave birth to monotheistic religions as we know them today. But he did not set out to accomplish any of these. He woke up everyday and lived an ordinary life just like most of us. This is what I came down to.  He is famous because he was a father and a friend. He fathered a family that survived the test of time and turned into a nation.  His wasn’t the only family around at that time but only his became a people and remained a people over the centuries.  And he was a friend to a God who blessed his family just as He promised He would. Fortunately, he was not the last father who was faithful to Yahweh.  And his was not the last family to be blessed. My father is not famous and his name will never make it to the bible but he somehow managed to introduce me to his God and that has made all the difference in my life.

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