Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.…
I. God trained him by separation; by a series of separations. This is the key thought of Abraham's life. We are accustomed to consider faith as the key to Abraham's life. Certainly it is; but did not his faith manifest itself in just this, that he was willing to separate himself from all for the Lord's sake?
1. You find, him first called of God to leave his country and his father's house.
2. The second separation is from his father Terah.
3. The next separation is from Canaan itself as a home.
4. Fourthly, separation from Egypt.
5. The next thing we read of is his separation from Lot.
6. After separation from Lot, comes separation from Ishmael.
7. Passing over what may be called Abraham's separation from himself, in the twentieth chapter, we come to his separation from Isaac.
8. The next thing we learn of Abraham is his separation from Sarah. "And it came to pass after all these things that Sarah died."
9. Then, finally, we find Abraham separated from all.In Genesis 25:5, we are told that "Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac." Abraham had been a rich man, but his heart had not been set on his riches, as was evident whenever questions of property came up.
II. This leads us to the second great subject: the gospel unto which Abraham was separated — the blessing of Abraham — the "Abrahamie covenant" of theology. It is, as already remarked, the same old covenant of grace, plus the idea of separation and consequent restriction. And here, as we are entering upon this period of restriction, this narrowing of the channel of blessing to the line of a single family first, and a single nation afterward, it is important for us to remember three things: In the first place this policy of restriction was not adopted until the offer of mercy had been thrice made to all mankind, and thrice rejected. In the second place, this restriction of the blessings of grace to a single family and a single nation was for the sake of all. It was the only way by which the blessing could be secured finally to all. Abraham was called, not for his own sake, nor for his descendants' sake only, but for the world's sake — "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3); and again (Genesis 22:18): "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." There is no real narrowing. It is still, "God so loved the world." In the third place, even though in the meantime the channel must be narrowed to a single family and nation, "whosoever will" may come. The door is open all the while. "The sons of the stranger" have simply to leave their country and their family, and come and join themselves to the family of Abraham, and to the nation of the Jew, and they are made welcome.
(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.