House group notes – The call of Abraham


Which is your favourite pilgrimage or journey story? What have you learnt from it? (E.g. Lord of the Rings, Cast Away, Pilgrim’s progress, Prodigal son, etc.)


  • Did anything about Sunday’s sermon strike you? In what ways have you been challenged?  

We read in Genesis 11 the famous story of the tower of Babel. We then get into the story of Terah, who was Abraham’s father. “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran” (Genesis 11:31-32). Terah was going to Canaan, but decided to settle in Harran. This is when Abraham is called to go to “the land I will show you” (which was Canaan).

  • Canaan seems to be the place where God was calling Terah and his family to go. Why do you think Terah might have stopped and settled in Harran? 

Please read Genesis 12:1-10 together

  • Abraham grew up in Harran, a place where people worshipped many different “gods”, especially the moon god. How much do you think he knew about the Lord?
  • We don’t have much detail in the Bible about his encounter with God. How do you think that moment was?
  • What did Abraham have to leave behind? Why do you think he did it?
  • In what ways have we seen the promises in v. 2-3 fulfilled? In what ways are they still being fulfilled? 

Please read Genesis 15:1-21

  • “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (15:6). This is a very well-known verse and it is quoted in the New Testament (Ro 4:3). What is it about this verse that is so revolutionary to our understanding of how God acted in the Old Testament?
  • In v. 9-21 we find one of the most important passages of the Old Testament. Why do you think it is so important?

Extremely important fact: In those days covenants were made in this way. It flags up all of our animal rights ideas, but it was how things were done. If you wanted to do a significant covenant with someone you would cut animals in half and put each half opposite to each other. Then both parties would walk around with a torch, the animals symbolised what would happen if you didn’t keep your part of the covenant. It was saying “if I don’t do my part of the covenant may I finish like these animals”. During that part of the rite in Genesis 15 Abraham was sleeping and God’s blazing torch was sealing the covenant for both sides. God’s people didn’t keep their side of the covenant, so Jesus died for them so that we might all be blessed through him.

  • Did you know this?
  • Reading this story in the light of this information changes the relevance of this covenant. In what ways does it help you have a deeper understanding of God’s plans for humanity?
  • What is it that most challenges you about Abraham’s story? 


Abraham’s story is mainly a story of God’s grace. God calls him out of a society that was confused and lost. He is called to be part of an adventure, but it is not easy at all. Abraham’s main quality is that he trusts God, he believes, he is obedient, he goes on the journey that God is inviting him on. Our story is quite similar.

In what ways do you find it difficult to trust God? Please prayer together for those areas in which you find it hard to trust in God. 

Nico Ohlsson, 29/11/2017