Join me to a visit of Hebron in Israel. This is where Abraham and his son Isaac lived on three different occasions.
It is quite an emotional experience to walk where this patriarch of old had walked. The Bible says that God appeared to him at Mamre in human form.
Eventually he was buried in the cave of Machpelah not far from Mamre. The present mosque on the site is called Haram, the “sacred place”.
While visiting the burial place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Leah and Jacob I thought of the loving manner in which God interacted with this man.
Come with me to Iraq where Abraham was born. Unfortunately we cannot visit the reconstructed southern palace of Nebuchadnezzar. We will have to come back to this important place at a later stage.
From Baghdad you travel a very long way till you reach ancient site of Ur. Modern Iraqis call it el-Muqaiyar. I was so excited when I walked where Abraham once walked.
I told my only child, Lauretta about the first test that came to Abraham. He had to abandon the place where he grew up.
He was called to leave his cell phone, laptop and flush toilets behind and begin a life of a nomad, a wanderer.
All the descendants of Shem who lived here became polytheists and worshipped the moon and other manmade deities on top of this ziggurat of Urnamu. In order to survive spiritually Abraham had to come out of the Babylonian city life and spend the rest of his life on the outskirts of cities and towns.
While we were visiting the ruins of the ancient residential area of Ur where Abraham lived, I thought of what Stephen said about the patriarch’s first call:
Acts 7:2,3 The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
From Ur Abraham traveled up north on the Fertile Crescent next to the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers. He missed the luxury of his friends, his city and his culture. But God’s call to come out of Babylonia transcended his natural desires.
After many months the clan came to Haran. This is as far as his family would go. Eventually Abraham’s father Terah died here.
While I walked amongst the ruins of ancient Haran I thought of the second great test that came to Abraham. He was called to leave his family behind and follow God to an unknown destination.
Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, ‘‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
In the Egyptian museum in Berlin you get an idea how families bonded. In order to have a still closer walk with God, Abraham had to leave his family behind who refused to accompany him to the Promised Land.
Every time I visit the Beersheba, the capital of the Negev, my thoughts go out the Abraham. He was called to make the supreme sacrifice – offer his son Isaac.
Genesis 22:1,2 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘‘Abraham!” ‘‘Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, ‘‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Lauretta is all I have. Would I be willing to sacrifice her? Abraham passed the test that God the Father passed when He sacrificed His Son on Calvary.
Inside the Dome is the rock on which Abraham sacrificed Isaac. In this emotional, devastating shattering act he saw another Father and another Son.
When God the Father took His Son to mount Moriah to be sacrificed, there was no substitute as in the case of Abraham. He paid the supreme price in order to save us and suffered with Christ on the cross.
By the way. God loves you with an everlasting love and He is going to do everything in His power to save you. Please allow Him to do it for you.