What do we know about Abraham? As one of the most important patriarchs of the Bible, it’s worth taking a moment to examine his life. Like all humans, he had many flaws. But God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations. Abraham believed in God’s promises and trusted Him. Therefore, God credited it to him as righteousness.
“And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6 (NKJV)
Before God changed his name to Abraham, he was known as Abram. He lived in the city of Ur in the land of the Chaldeans. Ur was a large and wealthy metropolis in Mesopotamia. Abram lived with his wife (Sarai) and extended family under the nose of his father, Terah. People worshipped many Gods in Ur, including Abram’s family.
The Bible is silent about Abram’s character prior to his call. Whether he worshipped the many idols of the time is uncertain. But, because God is sovereign, Abram was set apart. We don’t have to understand why He chose Abram to be the Father of Many Nations. We just have to trust in His wisdom.
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases. Psalm 115:3
God gave Abram two verbal commands in Genesis 12:1.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.’”
Our Father does not direct our steps without a purpose and destination in mind. We are never moved from one location to another aimlessly. God who always has a reason and intent for what seems like a rabbit trail designs even our detours. When God tells us to leave one place, He has another place for us to go. We are never called out without being called to.
Abram was 75 years old when God spoke to him and commanded that he leave Ur. He didn’t give Abram any details about his journey or destination. Abram was wealthy and comfortable. Why would he move? Why would he uproot his cozy and established life to become a tent dweller? Why did God select Abram? Maybe it was simply because God knew Abram’s heart. God knew he was a man of obedience and faith.
Abram first had to take action to receive the blessing and promise found in Genesis 12:2-3.
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great: And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The Lord appeared to Abram only after Abram obeyed the voice of God. Once he had traveled to the land of Canaan, The Lord appeared to Abram. God wants to see our faith in action!
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.” Genesis 12:7 (NKJV)
God will use us wherever we are planted, so long as we aren’t complacent. Sometimes, God will ask us to move to another location with little or no explanation. Uprooting can be painful, especially if you have family ties and are knit to your community. Tests of faith are challenging but there is always a blessing to be gained through obedience.
Has God told you to move? Has He asked you to leave behind friends or family members? Is your environment pulling you away from God or drawing you closer to Him? Moves can come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you’ve been called to move from one job to another. Maybe you have been called to leave one church and join another congregation. Or, maybe God wants you to stay put but move away from bad habits. How can Abraham’s faith and obedience inspire your spiritual walk and draw you into a closer relationship with the Lord?