It wasn’t long after the flood, before people again fell into idolatry and rebellion. In the patriarchal line from Noah God found Abram, a believer in the true God. Abram was not an idolater, even though his family was. He was willing to hear the still small voice of God, and to promptly obey all His directions including moving to the strange new land of Canaan.
God recognized in Abram unique characteristics. He built altars and worshiped God regularly. He kept His commandments. He made friends with the people of the land, and was a good influence on society. Some have said that his camp was a haven for those who wanted to now more about the true God. It is estimated that he had 1000 people in his camp.
Most remarkably, Abraham was hospitable to strangers and came to know and to love God. He was called the “friend of God.” When God knew that Abraham was ready, He directed him to offer Isaac, his only begotten son, the one whom he loved. Abraham obeyed, following God’s directions. Then God provided a ram for the sacrifice in place of Isaac. From Abraham’s willingness to obey, God presented one more time His everlasting covenant and chose him to be the father of His people, and the eventual progenitor of the Messiah.
Abraham commanded his children after him, and was able to influence many generations through his life of faith in God. Thus in choosing Abraham, his descendants became the “chosen people of God.”
The history of the Hebrews through time is long. There was the believing remnant who worshiped the true God. There was the unthinking multitude who fell into idolatry over and over again, and were finally taken into captivity. The believing remnant welcomed Messiah when He came. The unthinking multitude followed their apostate leaders to reject Him and to forfeit their position as the chosen people of God.
God has not cast away His people. The true Christian church is still “Abraham’s seed.” And God holds a special place for the believing remnant in the closing work of this world’s history.