Father Abraham had many sons

The song is highly interactive, incorporating a different arm and leg movement after each repetition of a single verse as you continue to sing it over and over. After a while, you begin to look pretty ridiculous.

While children’s songs like these can be cheesy and overused, you never know where they might sneak up and surprise you in the most unexpected ways later in life. For example, God used the song recently—not in a sing-along time with 5-year-olds, but in Bible study between two college-age girls.

I was in a crowded coffee shop meeting a girl for Bible study. She is learning to read the Scriptures for herself for the first time. We were discussing what she read in Romans 4 about Abraham’s justification through faith. Assuming she knew the background on God giving Abraham and Sarah a son despite a seemingly impossible circumstance, I attempted to relate this to having faith in God to accomplish the humanly unattainable in our own lives.

Before I could finish, she burst into her rendition of “Father Abraham.” I could not resist this flashback to my childhood days and proceeded to sing along. We made quite a scene in the middle of the coffee shop as we sang at least three verses, complete with hand motions.

In the midst of hysterics from the complete goofs we had just made of ourselves, she asked me if that song was about the same Abraham in this passage. Somewhat taken aback, I asked her if she understood what the song is referring to when it references Abraham’s many sons. To my surprise, she had not, giving me the opportunity to share about how God miraculously provided Isaac as a son for Abraham and Sarah in their old age, asked Abraham to sacrifice him and then stopped him at the last minute, and how God rewarded Abraham for his faithfulness by promising him many descendants.

It was eye opening how easy it is to grow up singing songs about stories from the Bible and never really understand the meaning behind them. My sweet friend had known that song for years and never knew the story.

She has a long way to go in understanding the Bible, as we all do, but the little moments like that when something finally clicks are so encouraging to me. It is a glimpse into God at work in someone’s life as he becomes more real to that individual through God’s word.

Student missionary correspondent Amber Cassady, a communications student at Texas A&M University in College Station, is serving in Colorado with Go Now Missions.

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