Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to nbsint.org.
Abraham is the father of three great religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Our understanding of Abraham and his stories differ in each of the religions, somewhat, but here it is as we find it in Genesis. God calls Abraham from the land of Ur, to go to a land that God will show. So Abraham leaves with his wife, Sarah, Lot and all his possessions and they travel to this new land. And when they encamp, God comes to Abraham and makes a covenant with him, promising him and his descendants all of this land. Well, the stories continue and so Abraham is looking for an heir to pass all of his possessions on. And Sarah does not seem to be able to conceive. So he has a child through a servant, Hagar, who has a son, Ishmael. But then, Abraham wants to have a child through Sarah. So God comes to Abraham, at the Oaks of Mamre, through three angels and promises that Abraham and Sarah, though they're old, beyond the point of having children, that they will have a son. Sarah laughs about this and that becomes the name of her future son, Isaac. Which means he laughs. Well, there are more plot twists in the story of Abraham. The most significant, is that God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. And so Abraham, in great faith goes and does, and just as he is about to kill his own son, God provides a ram. Abraham passes this test. And so the story continues, but now through Isaac, who will marry Rebekah. And the story of the patriarchs and matriarchs of Genesis continue.