“Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made you” (Genesis 17:5).
Father (Heb. Ab): Father, Chief, Patrimony, Principal
Father (Gr. Pater): Father, Parent
What made Abraham so great that he would have such a tremendous promise from God to not only be a father in his old age, but to be literally “father of a multitude” in accordance with his new name? The answer is simple, his faith. Abraham simply believed God and became the father of faith, and the father of us all who are of that same faith (cf. Romans 4:16).
The Apostle confirms this in his Epistle to the church at Galatia saying, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached beforehand the Gospel to Abraham, saying ‘In you shall all nations be blessed’. So then, they that are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians 3:8-9).
From the beginning of his calling, Abraham responded with faith. The Genesis account records that:
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, ‘Get out of your country, and from you kindred, and from you father’s house unto a land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless them that bless you and curse him that curses you; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed’. So, Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him. . .and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran” (Genesis 12:1-4).
The Book of Hebrews tells us concerning Abraham’s faith: “By faith Abraham when he was called to go out into a place that he would afterward receive for an inheritance, obeyed and went out not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Now that is faith and by his faith Abraham became the Father of Faith; and by it became the Father of Many Nations. Indeed, Abraham has many sons, whose sons are we.
So, the table is set, and the question is before us: How is it with your faith? Faith begets faith as a seed begets fruit with the seed in it which begets more fruit. The Faith of Abraham is as a Father begetting many children, who in turn have children and on and on it goes.
Be encouraged, you have been given a measure of faith (cf. Romans 12:3); and if you will take that measure, however great or small it may be, and believe it, and then obey and follow that to which that faith leads, you will be blessed of your Heavenly Father and prosper in that thing for which you believe. Do it and you will be amazed at what God, your Father, will do.
Abraham is the chief and principal example. He is our parent in the matter of faith. Study his life, follow his lead and walk out your faith in whatever God has called, even when you do not know in every detail what the end of your faith will be.
Just remember this: Father Abraham has many sons, and you are one of them, as are we, so just walk out your faith every day and just keep believing and obeying the Lord.