In Abraham's day, the world was in a desperate state, ripe for destruction. And Abraham's own society was the wickedest. Included were the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the most depraved society in all the universe: (Moses 7:36).
With all the world going in one direction, Abraham steadily pursues his course in the opposite. When all the inhabitants of the earth had been led astray in their own pride and self-sufficiency, Abraham still believed on the Lord, who then made a covenant with him. Abraham received his covenant only after he had made the first move. Speaking of him, "the prophetic spirit rests upon man only when he has first bestirred himself to receive it." Again, "the stirring below is accompanied by a stirring above, for there is no stirring above till there is a stirring below."
It was Abraham's unique merit that he loved righteousness in a hard-hearted and wicked generation, without waiting for others to show him the way.
A wonderful illustration of this principle is set forth in the newly found 1831—32 account of Joseph Smith's first vision, in which he recounts how for three years he sought diligently for something that apparently interested nobody else, and finally "I cried unto the Lord for mercy, for there was none else to whom I could go . . . and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness." This was exactly the case with the young Abraham, who at an early age angered his father by questioning all the values and beliefs of his society.
So he did the only thing he could do and, exactly like Joseph Smith, appealed directly to God at an early age—it was he who made the first move, according to Abraham 2:12: "Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee."
In short, he wants happiness, peace, rest, righteousness, knowledge, and light, and he wants to be able to hand them on to others—to his own progeny and to the world. The world is not interested in such things, but Abraham was willing to pay any price for them.
In theses most inhospitable of worlds, Abraham was the most hospitable of men. It was said that charity was asleep in the world, and Abraham awakened it.
excerpts from Hugh Nibley's "Abraham in Egpyt"