I received a copy of “Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith,” written by Charles Swindoll, from netgalley.com for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
I sat down with an old friend this week. We did one of my all-time favorite things. Explored the Bible together.
Back in 1998, I began making my way through Charles Swindoll’s “Great Lives From God’s Word” series. Starting with the life of David. Esther. Joseph. A decade of books concluding with the life of Jesus.
I read most of them. And for me, it seemed like sitting in on my very own seminary class. These books take you on the biblical journey of each individual. Swindoll paints the reality of each life using Scripture, original language insigh, and known historical and regional context.
He did the same in his most recent book. Telling Abraham’s story from his days in Ur to his final days married to Keturah. All the while, teaching us how to apply the lessons from Scripture in our own lives.
I gain wisdom by learning how another person got through a difficult time. How a great man or woman responded to criticism. How an individual, while honored and celebrated, avoided the ego trap of arrogance or conceit.
Swindoll does an excellent job of showing how Abraham’s faith grew over time.
Like his relatives and neighbors, Abram worshiped idols and accepted mythology as truth (see Joshua 24:2).
At the age of 75, God asked Abram to leave this world behind. He and his wife had already been married about fifty years! And they somehow found the courage to obey. Not knowing where they would settle or what that journey would include.
We follow Abram on his whole life journey. His short-lived trip to Egypt. His unwavering loyalty to his nephew, Lot. His name change to Abraham. His decision to father a child with Hagar at Sara’s insistence. His relationship with Isaac, the son whom he loved. To his final days as parent and grandparent to multiple children. Laid to rest by two of his sons, Isaac and Ishmael.
True to the title, we follow Abraham’s journey of faith along the way. How much faith did it take to lay Isaac on that altar? Think about it. No one is born with that much faith.
Finally, at 175 year of age (!)...
“Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.”(Genesis 25:8) Satisfied translates from the Hebrew word sahbah, which literally means “to be full.”
I cannot emphasize enough how much knowledge Swindoll imparts in his books. You learn about the geography, the daily lifestyle, the various pagan gods. For much less than you’d pay for a seminary education. All the while, giving us rich application to better our own faith.
Great rewards await if you obey without knowing all the details. It’s a principle God wants each of His followers to experience. Learning to trust Him is like making a journey step after step. Faith builds upon faith.