1. "Get you, out of your country..." (Beresheet 12:1). Rabbi Aba opened the discussion with THIS VERSE AND EXPLAINED THE REASON WHY ABRAHAM MERITED THAT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WOULD SAY THIS TO HIM RATHER THAN TO ANY OTHER PERSON OF HIS TIME. "Hearken to me, you stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness" (Yeshayah 46:12) MEANS how hard are the hearts of the wicked, who see the paths and the ways of Torah, yet do not observe them. THE PATHS ARE THE INTERNAL ASPECTS; THE WAYS ARE THE EXTERNAL ASPECTS. And the hearts of the wicked are stout, as they do not repent and turn back to their Master. THIS IS THE REASON WHY they are called stouthearted. The verse, "that are far from righteousness," MEANS THAT they keep themselves far from Torah.
2. Rabbi Chizkiyah commented ON THE AFOREMENTIONED VERSE, "Since they draw themselves away from the Holy One, blessed be He, therefore they remain far away from Him. And because of this, they are called . AND THE VERSE TEACHES US THAT they "are far from righteousness." FOR WHAT REASON? BECAUSE they do not wish to come closer to the Holy One, blessed be He, AS THEY ARE STOUTHEARTED. And because of this, they "are far from righteousness." Because they are far from righteousness, they are also far from peace - they can have no peace. As it is written, "There is no peace, says Hashem, to the wicked" (Yeshayah 48:22). And why is that so? Because they "are far from righteousness," THEY HAVE NO PEACE!
3. Come and behold, Abraham indeed succeeded in his desire to get closer to the Holy One, blessed be He. As it is written, "You love righteousness and hate wickedness" (Tehilim 45:8). Because he loved righteousness and hated wickedness, he therefore came closer to righteousness. Therefore, it is written, "Abraham my beloved" (Yeshayah 41:8). Why IS HE "my beloved?" Because it has been said about him, "You love righteousness." This is the love toward the Holy One, blessed be He, whom Abraham loved more than anyone else of his generation, who were "stouthearted" and "far from righteousness," as has already been explained.