I always get weirded out when I see people paint a picture of Abram as a man solely of great virtue and integrity. Actually, I get weirded out whenever I see this happen with any person in Scripture. Not because he, or any of those we call “heroes” of the faith (Hebrews 11), lacks virtuous qualities, but because I believe the Bible wants us to remember that the heroes of the faith were, more or less, goobers like the rest of us.
Abram, to me, has always been the perfect example of this. When God made His promise to bless him and make a great nation from his descendents (Genesis 12:2), it wasn’t because Abram was perfect. In fact, no reason is given for why Abram—not someone else, say, his neighbor—is chosen by God. If anything, we’re left with questions about his chosenness, because what did Abram do almost immediately after receiving God’s promise? He lied about his wife, Sarai, claiming she was his sister, and gave her to Pharaoh in exchange for safety in Egypt (vv.10–20), a mistake he repeated several years later with King Abimelech (Genesis 20:2).
But what always gets me is how, despite all this, Melchizedek, the mysterious priest Abram met on the way to rescue Lot, could say, “Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19). He wasn’t blessed because of his character or integrity. He wasn’t blessed because he deserved it. He was blessed because God Most High chose to bless him. Abram was a goober, but God blessed him because He wanted to bless him.
I need to remember this because it is true for me also. I am not blessed by God because I am better or more faithful or whatever we’re all tempted to think about ourselves (or others, for that matter) at times. I am blessed because God has chosen to bless me. And I know that I do not have to worry about Him changing His mind because the blessing He has given me has been guaranteed by another priest, a greater priest who was like Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:15–22): Jesus, the one who guaranteed His blessing to us by faith in His death and resurrection.
Yes, God blesses goobers like Abram. He blesses goobers like you and me too.
Written by Aaron Armstrong