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Updated on April 15, 2008
Abraham in Hebrew
Abraham in Hebrew


This is an interesting request. Thanks to sunkentreasure for such a thought-provoking question. And while I would love to give a top 5 or top 10 (and perhaps I will in a later hub), if I had to choose one favorite, I would choose Abraham. Here is why:

Abraham believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.

From a broad, global perspective, three major world religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) consider Abraham the father of their respective faiths. Four thousand years after the man lived, well over half of the earth’s population still trace their spiritual and/or religious heritage back to Abraham. Just stop and think about that for a moment.

What was so special about this guy?

It’s simple really, Abraham exemplified what, I think, on some level, most of us really want and need: 1) extraordinary faith (in something, anything), and 2) to be considered righteous, not because of our actions, but in spite of them.

"Abraham believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6, see also Gal. 3:6) I think we all want and need something to believe in. For many of us, our faith is in the God of Abraham. Why? There are as many reasons as people I suspect. For me personally, my God, Abraham's God, showed up in mighty ways even when I least deserved it, and least believed.


But, more than that, my God, Abraham's God, says that if I believe, it will be credited to me as righteousness, and that is something I could never attain to on my own. So, both of these fundamental human needs, faith and righteousness, are inextricably linked, I believe and I am made righteous.

I think we tend to lose sight of Abraham because of all the cool stuff all of the other Bible figures did: Moses delivering a nation of slaves, parting the Red Sea, etc., all of the wars fought by Joshua and David, Solomon's wisdom, and those weird prophet guys demand a heck of a lot of attention too (Ezekiel, whoa!).

Don't get me wrong, it's hard to beat Peter, who wouldn't want to walk on water, Paul, to be "the apostle to the Gentiles", and John, "the Revelator", even better "the Divine".

All of these are great, worthy of their place in history. But the simplicity of Abraham's significance is almost too profound, and yet humbling, to imagine: "Abraham believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.”

When you think about it, that about sums up everything there is in religion.


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