A NEW ERA
Time To Go
It was out of Ur that God called Abram and in Haran, God called Abram a second time (Acts 7:2–4). The second call, which came after the death of Terah, was essentially the same as the one he had received in Ur. There has been a period of about three hundred years since the last recorded time that God spoke with man. After the dark episode of the tower of Babel, it would be easy to think that perhaps God had given up or forgotten his image bearers. God speaks to a man named Abram, and the request he makes is of consequence. Abram's family had not served the one true God. Scripture tells us that they served other gods (Joshua 24:2,14–15). God's call requires Abram to leave his homeland. Leaving your country and people is a tall order. We must resist the temptation to reduce this to a rather small undertaking. The call was to leave his culture, relatives, comfort, and safety and follow me. Make sure you gather together all your possessions because you won’t ever be coming back. Oh, and by the way, I’m not telling you where we’re going until we get there. The task was monumental, and it sounds a lot like what Jesus would later say to those that he called to follow him. Abraham believes God and his faith is seen in his obedience. God's call does not end with only the exhortation to leave; Abram is reassured by God's promise of blessing. The world was divided in language and culture due to rebellion. God was calling a nation to himself, and this nation would bless every family and nation. God speaks of his mission and calls Abram to be a part of that mission. The Bible we now read is a product of God's mission and the call to participate.
Abram was seventy-five years old when he left, accompanied by Lot and his family. God appears to Abram along the way, and Abram's response is worship. God tells Abram that the ground he stands on would belong to his offspring. Worship and confession become a part of Abram's regular practice as he calls on the name of the Lord. Abram will depend on the Lord and his faithfulness.
Faith will be tested and as strong as his faith was he had a pattern of failure in personal matters that included his wife. Genesis 12 reminds us that only God is always faithful. Abram didn’t always trust and obey. We are given a devastating account of how he put Sarai, his wife, in a compromised position which had been agreed upon from the time the departed his father's house (Genesis 20:13). This Abram, who we have been admiring, barters his wife for material possessions. Abram failed the test and his wife by attempting to "fix" the problem using deception. God brings judgment on Pharaoh who calls Abram to account and chastises him for his wicked behavior. Pharaoh sends Abram away with his wife and all that he had including the gifts that he had received. God continues to pursue and provide for Abram in spite of his sin and failure. God pursues his people to rescue and redeem them despite their rebellion.
Thing To Consider:
- Why is important that God initiates revelation?
- Why would God initiate a covenant with Abram?
- What were the risks involved with leaving his family?
- How do our circumstances affect our faith?
- Why do we use deception?
- How do you think Abram's treatment of Sarai influences their marriage?
- How do we reconcile the fact that Abram left Egypt with more than he arrived with in light of his sin?