Magdy Samuel

Chapter 1
Blessing of the Estranged Life

There are many blessings Abraham enjoyed.  And you, my dear reader, can enjoy them as well, if you commit your life and your sojourn to the Lord your God.  We will contemplate together in some of the blessing that the "Father of Believers," the man of God, Abraham enjoyed.

1. Knowing the Lord
Abraham and his clan worshipped idols for a long time.  Even after their emigration they still kept on worshiping those idols.  Laban said to Abraham’s nephew Jacob: “…but why did you steal my gods?” (Genesis 31:30).   Abraham’s clan was still worshipping idols during this time.

Notice that God did not give Abraham the promise of blessing, “I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2), when he was still in the Ur of the Chaldeans.  But it was after he left his land and his clan and went to Haran, that God gave the blessing to him.

2. Relationship with the Lord
This is what happened to Abraham, that he was called the friend of God. Abraham had a strong relationship with the Lord. And this relationship got stronger as the years passed.  Even when the Lord was angry at Sodom and Gomorrah and wanted their destruction, He spoke with Abraham regarding this situation. “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?” (Genesis 18:17)

Through the relationship between Abraham and the Lord and the Lord’s treatment of him in handling the different obstacles of life, Abraham got to know the Lord’s characteristics. He knew the Lord, the righteous judge, who will not destroy the righteous with the wicked, for the Lord said:  “….far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

3. Believing the Lord
What distinguishes Abraham’s life is his behavior in the faith; he is a man of faith.
The Lord called him to depart from his land, where he depended on the agriculture and living by the rivers of Ur of the Chaldeans, to go to the land of Canaan, which meant dependence on rain sent from God.  This way he could no longer depend on the rivers of Ur of the Chaldeans, but on the rivers of his Lord, the river of His flowing love and the river of His powerful arm.

4. Witness for the Lord
Throughout his estrangement and migration, Abraham was a faithful witness to the Lord and a light in the middle of the darkness of the nations and their wickedness.

5. Ongoing Blessings
When the Lord prospered Abraham and filled him with wealth, he was a blessing to many.  Abraham generously welcomed the Lord and the two angels and prepared a great feast. And when Lot was taken captive, Abraham armed his servants and went to rescue Lot and his family, rejecting all goods given from king of Sodom for his compensation.

6. Timely Success
 This is what happened with Abraham in the land of Canaan; the Lord blessed and prospered Abraham. Also with Isaac, he blessed him in the strangers’ land with many blessings in spite of the difficult circumstances and the dryness around him. “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.” (Genesis 26: 12, 13)

As we see many times, the Lord helps the believers succeed in different areas of their lives and they become an excellent example of success in the spiritual and in the temporal as well.
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank…. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. “(Daniel 1:8 & 6:28)

 The Lord doesn’t want the believer to live isolated from the world. He wants the believer to succeed and excel and advance in all the latest technology, but to be set apart from the filthiness of the world.

7. Waiting upon the Lord
This is what happened with Abraham in the land of Canaan, even with all the success he achieved:  he lived as a foreigner; he never built a home but dwelt in tents, for he waited for the celestial city. Then the Bible says about him: “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents………for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:9, 10)

And here Abraham’s faith shines, even though he’s an Old Testament believer where his invitations and blessings are earthly, however he was a foreigner in the promise land.  And that's what embarrasses us, the New Testament believers, owners of the promise and heavenly blessings, and yet living by sight in a foreign land.

Therefore we pray our Lord’s help, that we may live as strangers and pilgrims in this world, chanting: “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrew 13:14)


Magdy Samuel