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When one compares the brief 14 chapters of The Bible that relates the story of Abraham with the enormity of his legacy as the founder of the three great monotheistic religions, the contrast is quite startling. The story is not even a complete narrative of the Patriarch's life, but begins when God calls to him at the age of 75, commanding him to leave Haran, the place of his birth and his ancestors, and to set out for an alien land that God promises to him and his progeny.
We must ask ourselves, were we in the same position, would we so seriously regard the beckoning of a presumably celestial voice as to have ventured into an unknown wilderness at such an advanced age? While for most of us the answer would be no, Abraham abides this order seemingly without a second thought. This is doubtless the aspect of his personality that makes him an ideal candidate as the bearer of a holy covenant between God and man: an unshakable faith in the voice that was guiding him and the promises that it made.
Perhaps the story of Abraham and the trials he faced in foreign lands reveals less about the patriarch than it does about God, and the nature of His covenants with men. If we look at Abraham's narrative in this way, we can assemble a kind of rubric of the founding principles of faith and covenant. First, in order to have God's promises fulfilled, one must be willing to believe in such promises.
God's promise to make man