In the Scriptures, God is referred to as the God of Abraham over a dozen times.
He was not ashamed of that name and used it Himself when He called Moses to free His enslaved people from Egypt (Hebrews 11:16; Exodus 3:6, 15, 16; 4:5).
When God called Abraham and told him to leave his country and family, he left. When God told him to go to a land that He would show him, he went. When God told him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, he believed (Genesis 12:1-9; 15:5-6).
In addition to a land, descendants, and blessing, God promised him a great name (Genesis 12:2).
People want a great name. They define it differently.
Lamech wanted fame for being more evil than Cain who murdered his brother (Genesis 4:19-24). The builders of the Tower of Babel wanted to earn a name for themselves by their edifice (Genesis 11:4).
There are obvious contrasts between the builders in Genesis, chapter 11, and Abraham’s call in chapter 12. In chapter 11 people wanted to go up. In chapter 12, God came down. In chapter 11, people wanted to make a name for themselves. In chapter 12, God told Abraham that He would make his name great. In chapter 11, people wanted fame through a great unifying project. In chapter 12, God began to rebuild the unity that was lost in the Fall through one man’s obedience and faith.
God took the initiative. Abraham did not come from a faithful heritage. His family served other gods (Joshua 24:2, 14). He obeyed God’s call and believed His promises and God referred to Himself as the God of Abraham. Abraham became the father of the faithful (Galatians 3:7-9).
Faith and obedience are the base for any true greatness in serving God.
This post first appeared on Bob Krupp’s blog.