The impression I get from these scriptures is that the primary calling of Abraham was to be a father.The Scripture says in the Book of Malachi that it is the heart of God,
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. (Isaiah 51:1-2.)
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee
(Genesis 17: 3-6.)
The Scripture says in the Book of Malachi that it is the heart of God, before the Day of the Lord, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers. If this does not happen there will be a smiting of the earth with a curse. May the Lord have mercy that this will not happen.
We know from the story of Elijah in his challenge to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel when he called Israel to return to God, and Elisha’s lament at his departure that Elijah was a father to Israel. And when John the Baptist came he came in the spirit and mantle of Elijah. So, Elijah’s mantle was essentially a mantle of fatherhood over Elisha and the nation of Israel.
Abraham was called to be a father. He was not to be a father of just a nation, or of the children of Israel (even though Israel was His first son). He was to be a father of nations. We know that within a country we could have nations. In Nigeria, we say that the Yoruba as a people are a nation and Igbo too are a nation. Abraham was to reflect the heart of God the Father. That was his calling and his mantle.
For me, mantle is the seal of an office. It is the power and authority and anointing given to a person to function in an office. So, the mantle of Abraham is a mantle of fatherhood; to father people. Fathers give birth not just to individuals but also to movements, nations. God needs fathers to be raised and He has set Abraham as a pattern of what fathers should be. That is why God called Abraham out of his own father’s house to learn the fatherhood of God so that he also will become a father.
The Journey of Abraham as a Father
Abraham started with a promise. In Genesis chapter 12, the Lord said to him, I will give you. His calling was connected to the land and to the people (primarily the 12 tribes of Israel) and, ultimately, to Christ our Messiah and through the Messiah, Abraham fathers the nations. Abraham journeyed to the place where the mantle was given to him. What God gave to Abraham at first was a promise. He said, I will give you the land. I will give you a son. I will make you. Abraham journeyed with the promise for a while from Genesis 12 to 14. But in Genesis 15 something happened. Abraham entered into a new phase of his calling with God. God brought him into a covenant and he sacrificed animals and birds. In Genesis 15 the language changed; it was longer a promise. In verse 18 it says, In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
From that point on it was no longer a promise. There was a shift from, I will give to I have given. What happened was this, for Abraham to have a hold over the land of Canaan, God had to bring him into a covenant. God knew that for Abraham to take the land there must be a superior covenant because the people of the land had covenanted it to the gods they served. The Scripture says the earth has God given to the children of men and, we know, men have the right to give it to whoever they want to give it to. So Abraham was taking and giving the land back to God through that covenant. Of course the powers of darkness knew what Abraham was doing through that covenant.