Abraham obeys God in faith, and Jehovah promises to bless him and to multiply his descendants
SOME 350 years had passed since the Flood of Noah’s day. The patriarch Abraham was living in the flourishing city of Ur in what is today called Iraq. Abraham was a man of outstanding faith. But now his faith was put to the test.
Jehovah told Abraham to leave the country of his birth and move to a foreign land, which turned out to be Canaan. Abraham obeyed without hesitation. He took along his household, including his wife, Sarah, and his nephew Lot, and after the long trip became a tent dweller in Canaan. In a covenant that He made with Abraham, Jehovah promised that He would make a great nation out of him, that all the families of the earth would be blessed by means of him, and that his offspring would possess the land of Canaan.
Abraham and Lot prospered, accumulating huge flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. Unselfishly, Abraham let Lot select whatever territory he wished. Lot chose the fertile district of the Jordan River and settled near the city of Sodom. The men of Sodom, however, were immoral—gross sinners against Jehovah.
Jehovah God later reassured Abraham that his offspring would become as numerous as the stars of heaven. Abraham put faith in that promise. Yet, Abraham’s beloved wife, Sarah, remained childless. Then, when Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was approaching 90, God told Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son. True to God’s word, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Abraham had other children, but it would be through Isaac that the Deliverer promised in Eden would come.
Meanwhile, Lot and his family were living in Sodom, but righteous Lot did not become like the city’s immoral inhabitants. When Jehovah determined to execute judgment upon Sodom, he sent angels ahead to warn Lot of the impending destruction. The angels urged Lot and his family to flee Sodom and not to look back. God then made it rain fire and sulfur on Sodom and the nearby wicked city Gomorrah, destroying all their inhabitants. Lot and his two daughters escaped. But Lot’s wife looked back, perhaps with longing for the things she had left behind. For this disobedience, she paid with her life.
—Based on Genesis 11:10–19:38.