God selected Abraham to be the father of the His people. The bible does not directly state why God selected him, but after reading scripture one can conclude that God selected Abraham due to his great faith. Abraham’s life lends itself as an example to all who desire to walk with God.
Abraham was one of three sons born to Terah in the city of Ur of the Chaldeans. Research conducted by Elmer Towns indicates that Abraham was younger than his two brothers, Nahor and Haran, although the bible does not specifically indicate that (56). The exact date of his birth cannot be determined, but it is estimated to have been between 2100 and 1800 B.C. (Davis, 159). He was born after the flood and through the family line of Shem, ten generations from Noah. Through his ancestry Abraham can be traced back to Adam and God’s creation. His given name at birth was Abram which means “Exalted Father” (Alter, 73). Later, God would change his name to Abraham, meaning “Father of the Multitudes”, in order to amplify the call that God had placed upon his life (Towns, 108-109).
Growing up in Ur was not the ideal location for a believer in the one true God, Ha Elohim. Ur was located in what is now southern Iraq near the waters of the Persian Gulf. It was a Babylonian city which meant it was a polytheistic society due to the fact that the Babylonians worshiped many gods. Exposure to this surrounding lifestyle may have been the impetus behind Abraham’s father serving other gods as revealed in Joshua 24:2. The influences of idolatry were evident in Abraham’s upbringing; however the bible does not mention that Abraham himself entered into such practices. It can then be inferred that Abraham was able to resist the pagan beliefs and influences of his surroundings and remain steadfast in his belief in Ha Elohim.
God certainly recognized that Abraham was strong in his faith and as a result selected him to carry out a greater plan in life than just living among idolaters. God was initiating a plan that paved the way to salvation for future generations (Hayford’s Handbook, 6). As revealed in Acts 7:2-3, It was in Ur that God first called upon Abraham to leave his family and current city-dwelling lifestyle to follow Him in obedience to a land that was yet unrevealed.
Abraham did make the first move of his journey by relocating to Haran in conjunction with his father and other family members. Genesis 11:31 says that Terah moved the entire family from Ur to Haran, minus his son Haran, who had previously died. The bible does not indicate how long Abraham lived in Haran, but it does say that he remained there until his father’s death. At this juncture in Abraham’s life, God again called out to him.
RESPONSE TO GOD’S CALL
In reaction to God’s call, Abraham departed Haran enroute to Canaan. At 75 years of age, he abandoned his way of life assembled his wife, his nephew Lot, his servants, livestock, and material possessions and moved in accordance with God’s leading....