Abraham, Man of Faith

Discovery for Students

Abraham, Man of Faith


Genesis 11:10 through 23:20

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)


The first portion of text for this lesson, Genesis 11:10-26, gives a selective list of ten generations that traces the ancestry of the man Abram, whose name was changed by God to Abraham in Genesis 17:5. The account of Abraham marks a pivotal point in the Book of Genesis. Prior to this time, God had dealt with the entire human race. At this point in Scripture, He centered His attention on Abraham and his family, beginning the patriarchal history.

The themes of separation, faith, and obedience are interwoven threads that can be traced throughout the life of Abraham. God called Abraham from pagan Ur of the Chaldees, which was a well-developed city with approximately 250,000 inhabitants at that time. A call from God always necessitates a choice. Abraham had to forsake the heathen practices of his society, and anchor his faith in the one true God. He had to leave behind his country and all that was secure and familiar, and begin traveling at God’s direction toward a land that was unknown to him. As a result of Abraham’s choice to obey, God established a covenant with him, promising to bless Abraham and make of him a great nation. Then God led Abraham step by step on a fifteen-hundred-mile journey, ending in the fertile region of Canaan where His desire was to establish a moral, God-centered nation through Abraham’s offspring.


  1. God is generous with His promises, but often those promises are accompanied by conditions. What were the first promises He made to Abraham? What was required of Abraham if he wished to obtain God’s promises? Genesis 12:1-3
  2. In Genesis 12:6-8, we read of Abraham’s first encounters with the Lord in the new land. What action did Abraham take in his stops at both Sichem and Bethel? What was the significance of his action?
  3. After settling in Canaan, a conflict arose between the households of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13:2,5-7). Describe the situation, and then identify Abraham’s solution. Genesis 13:8-9
  4. After ten years, with no fulfillment of God’s promise of numerous descendants, Abraham began to wonder how it was really going to come about. How did God reassure Abraham, and what was Abraham’s response? Genesis 15:1-6
  5. In Genesis 17, God appeared to Abraham again and renewed and expanded His covenant. At this time he changed the man’s name from Abram (which means “high father” or “patriarch”) to Abraham (which means “father of a multitude”). What was the significance of the new name, and how did it fit with the expanded promises God gave at that time?
  6. While God was confirming and encouraging righteous Abraham, His judgment was about to be poured out on the unrighteous people who lived in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Why did God tell Abraham about His plans to destroy these cities? What does Abraham’s intercession reveal about his view of God? Genesis 18:16-19; 23-33
  7. After numerous promises, a visit by two angels, and the appearance of the Lord himself, Genesis 21:1-7 records how Sarah finally rejoiced at the birth of a son. How can the experience of Sarah and Abraham encourage us as we wait for our prayers to be answered?
  8. In Genesis 22, we observe Abraham’s response to a soul-wracking test of obedience: God instructed him to take his only son, Isaac, into the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering to the Lord. What details in this account emphasize Abraham’s unhesitating response?
  9. What spiritual lessons can we learn from the life of Abraham?


Abraham was an example of a righteous man who clung to his faith in the promises of God in spite of impossible odds. The promises originally given to Abraham were eventually reiterated to his son Isaac (Genesis 26:3) and to his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:13). In the New Testament, Abraham is held up as the example of the faith required for the followers of Christ. He is viewed as the spiritual father of faith to all believers (Galatians 3:7-9).