God appeared to Abram, called to him, promised to make a great line of descendants from him, and changed his name to Abraham.  God tested his loyalty by asking for the sacrifice of his son, Isaac.  Abraham was loyal and obedient in all these circumstances.  Additionally, the scriptures say that at these times, Abraham and Isaac were calling upon the Name of the Lord.  In other words, they were praying.  At least four scripture passages mark this advancement in our worship of God.

  1.   Genesis 12: 7-8   …He (Abram) built an altar there to the Lord and invoked the Lord by Name.
  2.   Genesis 13: 2-4      Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold.  From the Negeb he traveled by stages toward Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly stood,  the site where he had first built the altar; and there he invoked the Lord by Name.
  3.   Genesis 21: 33     Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beersheba, and there he invoked by Name the Lord, God the Eternal.  Abraham resided in the land of the Philistines for many years.

4.      Genesis 26: 23-25  From there Isaac went up to Beersheba.  The same night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.  You have no need to fear, since I am with you.  I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”  So he (Isaac) built an altar there and invoked the Lord by Name.

These precious first passages reveal to us how our loving God made Himself known to us and remind us that it is our primary duty to pray and worship Him and give Him thanks for His great love and kindness toward us.


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