Out of the civilization originating at the Tower of Babel, God called a man named Abram. God changed Abram's name to Abraham, meaning "the father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5). Abraham's new name carries great significance.
Why did God call Abraham?
"Now the LORD had said to Abram: 'Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:1-3).
God began a process that would bring blessings to every inhabitant of earth. Through Abraham and his descendants, God would begin a temporary physical kingdom, the nation of Israel.
Did God intend to have a personal relationship with Abraham as He had wanted with the first humans, Adam and Eve?
"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless'" (Genesis 17:1).
Through the experiences of his life in a new land, Abraham learned the essential lesson of trusting God by having faith in His promises and acting on it. As a result, Abraham is "the father of all those who believe" (Romans 4:11).
Were kings and a kingdom associated with Abraham's calling?
"I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you" (Genesis 17:6).
Through this man's descendants God promised to raise up a great nation. Later prophecies show it would be the forerunner of God's eternal spiritual Kingdom. God's promises to Abraham play an important role in His master plan for mankind.
The promises God made to Abraham are the foundation of the Kingdom of God. Abraham and the prophets are also the foundation of the gospel. Paul tells us that the Church itself is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20).
We cannot fully grasp the significance of the gospel without comparing God's revelation to Abraham and the succeeding prophets with the teaching of Jesus Christ. This was the approach Christ's apostles used in preaching the gospel to the world. Any other approach will lead to an incomplete, distorted understanding of the gospel of the Kingdom of God.