Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. Genesis 21:33
This single sentence in Genesis, offers much for a Christian to delve into. It includes:
- Faithful Abraham, God’s chosen father of the Jewish nation.
- An action of thankfulness.
- Acknowledges God’s sovereignty.
- Offers a description of God.
In this verse, Abraham, while his son Isaac was little, made a treaty and swore and oath with Abimelek king of Gerar. Abimelek had noticed that God found favor with Abraham, and asked Abraham to never deal falsely with him or his descendants. Abraham agreed to this request.
During the same encounter, Abraham complained about a well he had dug, which Abimelek’s servants seized. Abimelek claimed no prior knowledge to this event. So Abraham presented the king with seven ewe lambs, to affirm both men agreed that Abraham did indeed dig the well in question. Afterward, because of the treaty and the oath, Abraham planted a tree. Perhaps this act was to memorialize the two events. Or, to thank God for all He was doing in Abraham’s life at the time, specifically living in Beersheba where Abraham was prospering.
But notice, Abraham then “called on the name of the LORD.” To “call on the name of the LORD” is to acknowledge God’s sovereign authority. Abraham was affirming God is always in control. Yes, the events of the treaty and the oath worked out cooperatively for both parties, but Abraham knew it wan’t because both men had positive attitudes. Abraham was giving all credit to God. And Abraham’s action to “call on the name of God,” attested to rendering his complete obedience to God.
The last part of this sentence, “the Eternal God,” is actually the most important part. It reveals a flawless character trait of God. He is forever. God is the Beginning and the End. The First and the Last. The Alpha and the Omega. God has always been here, and He always will.
Knowing this trait, complete only in God, should excite Christians to worship, reverence and reference God, just the way Abraham did. Each time we esteem His holy name, we lift Him up. It’s an action of thankfulness. Just like Abraham planting a tamarisk tree.