None of us are in a hurry to pack up the moving van to start a new life in an unfamiliar place. Truth be told, I like being comfortable in my routine of life. How would we respond if the LORD said, “Go?”
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
I’m struck by one word spoken by the LORD, “Go.”
Often when we read Genesis 12 we get caught up in the blessing promised to Abram – soon to be Abraham. God will make Abram into a great nation blessing his name and making it great. But that’s not all. The LORD also promises to bless all those who bless Abram and curse those who dishonor him. This sounds too good to be true!
Yet God wasn’t finished there; the LORD had saved the best for last. Through Abram all the families of the earth will be blessed. In case you didn’t know this is God’s promise to send Jesus, a descendent of Abram, Who will come to redeem mankind from sin and death. No wonder we get caught up in Abram’s blessing; we too are blessed by it.
However, the blessing promised to Abram was dependent upon his willingness to obey the voice of the LORD and go. God told Abram to leave his father’s household and the land of Haran where they were living. Yet this was not the first time Abram gathered together his household, packed up all his belongings to set out on a journey to a new homeland.
Abram’s father Terah left Ur of the Chaldeans to settle in the land of Canaan (see Gen. 11:27-32). We are not told a lot about Terah. Years later as Israel was about to go in and possess the Promised Land, Joshua reminds the people that Terah once lived with his family beyond the Euphrates where “they served other gods” (Josh. 24:2). Rabbinic tradition from the Talmud and Midrashim teach that Terah served Nimrod as a high priest with a lucrative business making idols. Abram, who Nimrod saw as a threat to his kingdom, eventually convinced his father to abandon his false gods to serve God Almighty. Terah decided then to take his family to Canaan where they could worship the LORD freely without being threatened by Nimrod. But Terah never actually made it to Canaan, settling instead in Heran where he would live out his days. It was here that the LORD called to Abram saying, “Go.”
God was calling to Abram, leading him out of the predominately pagan culture of Nimrod that dominated the land east of the Euphrates, including Haran. Terah had left Ur traveling up the Euphrates about 500 miles northeast of Babylon to Heran. But God wanted to take Abram out of that land to a new land of promise about 500 miles southwest across the Euphrates that the LORD would make known.
If the LORD called us with the promise of a blessing to pack up our family and all we owned to move to an unknown place where we had never been, would we be willing to go? Abram did, and we’re blessed because he was willing to go.
You and I can find our lives comfortable just the way they are and where they are. I need to simply be attentive to the voice of the LORD confident that while I plan my course, God determines my steps (see Prov. 16:9).
Yes to Yield
LORD Jesus, thank You for the home You have given to Susie and our family; it is a blessing. And thank You for the place of ministry given to me as well as Susie’s job – this too is a blessing. Yet I know the greatest blessing is not in things, but in the people You bring into our lives. Holy Spirit give us ears to hear Your voice leading us to go to familiar places and even places outside our comfort zone so we might be a blessing to others sharing the love of Christ and making Him known.