Abraham was chosen by God to father the entire 12 tribes of the Hebrew race.
God visited him in his homeland in the southern part of what is now Iraq near the Euphrates river and told him to leave that place and travel to another land that had been chosen for him and for the people that would later come to life through him.
Abraham complied. He gathered up his wife, Sarah and his mistress, Hagar and set out for what turned out to be the land of Palestine far to the west. At first Sarah was barren and unable to bear a child to Abraham, so he had a child with Hagar instead. That child's name was Ishmael. Sarah was jealous and asked Abraham to cast Ishmael and Hagar out of the camp. In leaving, the two of them went back to the lands of Babylon from when they had originally come. Later in life, Sarah was able, herself to give birth to a child. She named him Isaac. The descendants of Ishmael encompass the entire race of the Arabs, and spiritually, the Persians as well.
Paul explained that the casting away of Ishmael and Hagar was an allegory of God. The lawfully wedded wife gave birth to the children of the Promise, while the first-born was left out. The allegory was meant to show that only those born of the Spirit could access the kingdom of God. No one born of flesh could do so. The first mother was flesh and unable to give eternal life to her child, who mirrored her flesh. The second mother was the true spiritual mother of eternal life (the Holy Spirit), the living water that Christ sent down to give life to the world.
That is not the only major allegory that involves Abraham. God led Abraham to the rock of Mt. Moriah with his son, Issac in tow and put it in Abraham's mind to lift a blade against the boy as a sacrifice. Abraham, full of faith, complied. But God stopped him. Human sacrifice was not to be a part of Hebrew worship. "Instead", said God, "I have supplied a substitute". Above Abraham's head there was a ram entangled in the brush. Moses incorporated this event into His Law, and thereafter, for the guardian of the Law, the substitute became all the helpless animals of later Hebrew sacrifice.
But God was not thinking of animals when He appeared to Abraham. He was referencing His own Son. His Son was to be the substitute. The being about to be sacrificed was ourselves. We are born on this planet under the penalty of the Law and therefore under a sentence of death. So we are like Issac, about to be struck by the knife of God's Law because Satan has contaminated us with his fatal sin. But God has stopped the knife. He provided a substitute in the form of His own Son, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross in our place. He died there so that we do not have to. And so we have been redeemed by a blood sacrifice.
On the spot where it was traditionally accepted that Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac, Solomon much later built the first Hebrew temple in Jerusalem. The rock of Abraham (the location of the sacrifice) is the base of that temple and considered the most holy rock in the world, not just to the Arabs and Jews, but to the Persians as well.
The Moslems control that rock today and it would take a third-world-war to wrest it from their control. So Jews have to be content to worship at the 'Wailing Wall', a part of the base of Herod's retaining wall, a few score meters southwest of the rock. As long as the Moslems continue to control the rock of Abraham, the Jews cannot reinstitute blood sacrifice, the priesthood that circulates around it, nor rebuild the 2000 year old ruins of the burned temple of Herod.
Many Christians today tend to view themselves as a kind of '13th tribe' of Israel, bound to the Jews as an 'adopted' son of Abraham -- a sort of second class citizen of heaven. But as the prophets have shown, this is not true. Nor was it ever. Genetics plays no part in the determination of God's people. Not even with the Jews. It is true that pagans were given a way to become a part of the House of Israel through a Jewish graft, but that was so that God could bypass the gene pool and open up His offer of salvation to the entire human race.
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E.C.S.Leavenworth III; Goodnews Christian Ministry.