If there is someone who is considered as a key historical figure, it is Abraham. The importance of Abraham is underscored by the fact that he is the founder of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). The expansiveness of the importance of Abraham is seen in the fact that all the democratic ideals which are the foundations of functioning world democracies are founded from the Bible. Nevertheless, Abraham was able to attain the status he is ascribed because of the leadership virtues he possessed.

One of the qualities of a leader is self-confidence. While self-confidence is seen as an individual’s own overall appraisal of self, it is always exhibited in the actions people carry out, especially when in the company of others. In most cases, the litmus test for self-confidence is the ability to take initiatives in a group. This trait was seen in Abraham, in several instances. For instance, he led his family from Ur of the Chaldeans and into Canaan as the head of the family. At a certain instance, he was able to lead his family into Egypt when famine in Canaan was rife, and back to Canaan when the famine assuaged. Above all, people are able to see Abraham prepare his household for battle, in a successful attempt to ransom his nephew Lot who had been captured in Sodom by the kings of Elam and Goiim. The battle took place at the Salt Sea, with the redemption of Lot and the captive kings being the culmination of this war that saw Abraham join forces with the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Zoar and Zeboiim.

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This above event also displayed in Abraham, the gift of charisma that a leader ought to have. It is for this same reason that the confederation of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were able to join hands with Abraham for battle and covenant. This helped Abraham become a great leader, given that his influence became increasingly apparent throughout Canaan.

That a leader must have and show concern for others is not in doubt. This is seen in Abraham waging war to save his nephew Lot, despite Lot having acted in a rebellious manner towards him. His concern for others is also seen in the instance where he entreated three guests in the afternoon heat to feed them and to have them sheltered from the scorching afternoon heat.

The persistence that Abraham had is also seen in the fact that despite all the indicators that proved contrariwise, he continued to believe that he would have a son, granted from God. By the time Abraham was being given the promise of a son, he was already 75. Nevertheless, he sidestepped all the trends set by biology upto 25 years later when he had the promised son, Isaac. The importance of this persistence is that it enabled him to push forward, instead of languishing in the mire of self pity as many would find themselves into, on the account that they are bereft of children.

The stability of a leader is seen as having unwavering affirmation to an object, a person of a higher authority, or a value which is seen as true. This stability is seen in the instance where Abraham was tested by God, to the effect that he should sacrifice his only son, Isaac on Mount Moriah. Although deeply disturbed by the prospects of losing his only son and heir whom he had patiently and against all odds waited for and the prospects of already being too senile to sire another child with Sarah, yet he continued to trust that God was right. Thus, he journeyed three days up the mountain to sacrifice his son. He went ahead to set the felicity conditions for the sacrifice, bound his son and lifted up the knife to offer up his son. The denouement of the whole drama was God’s intervention and reiteration of the promises He had made to Abraham.

The enthusiasm that Abraham displayed in his walk with God can also not be sidestepped. This enthusiasm is usually displayed in actions and remains imperceptible as long as the individual is latent. The enthusiasm in Abraham towards walking with his friend God is seen in the fact that immediately he is called, he leaves his native land and his paternal homeland and kinsmen for a land and a place whose geographical locations are not yet clear. At a certain instance, once God sets a covenant with him for posterity, he went ahead to maintain the seal of the covenant by having himself and the entire household circumcised. Apart from the painful aspect of this practice, the move was risky, given that the community aligned along Abraham became too susceptible to external attacks. This was therefore an exhibition of total enthusiasm. This quality helped Abraham to be the yardstick of total commitment to God in all the Abrahamic religions. This is the case, given that, especially in Christianity, when one comes to God, he becomes a disciple of Christ and is therefore expected to come to God fully, in total commitment and not holding anything that is contrary to God’s will back. Such is the central message of Christianity and the benchmark of the cost of discipleship.


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