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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Was Abraham Chosen?

Choosing of Chosen People Banner  
We are excited to offer you a brand new study guide for the book of Genesis. This is a teaching done by our very own Sondra Oster Baras, on the Choosing of a Chosen People.  Below you will get a small sample of what is available in the Study Guide companion to the DVD series.  We hope you'll enjoy it and download the free Study Guide. 
Kimberly Troup
Director, US Office
CFOIC Heartland

The Choosing of A Chosen People
Part 1 of 5
The Selection of Abraham
Terah Takes Leave

...And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there...
Genesis 11:31

Journey of Abram

...So Abram went, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran...
Genesis 12:4
To reconcile both accounts of Abraham's journey towards Canaan and properly understand the special significance of Genesis 12, we must have a better appreciation for who Abraham was and the environment he came from.

1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said unto all the people: 'Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: Your fathers dwelt of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 And I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
                                                                                                                        Joshua 24
Based on this passage in Joshua, the 'Midrash' recounts a story of Abraham as a young boy growing up in the house of Terah:
Abraham was a small child in Ur of the Chaldeans surrounded by pagan worship. His own father, Terah, owned a shop selling idols to the residents of Ur. But even as a young boy, Abraham already questioned the wisdom and validity of pagan worship. One day, Terah leaves Abraham in charge of the idol store. Abraham lifts a large stick and begins smashing all of the idols and then places his stick in the hands of the largest idol. When Terah returns and sees all of his merchandise in ruins, he furiously turns to his son and cries out, "Abraham, what did you do?!" Pointing to the largest idol, Abraham responds, "I didn't do anything, this idol smashed all of the others." Terah's anger flared even more, "Are you mad? You know that idol has no power to harm any of the other statues!" At which point, Abraham turns innocently to his father and asks, "Then why do you pray to him?"
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