Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Genesis 12:4-9

Good morning, all!

We have already talked about how Abram left Ur when God called him to leave, but he tarried in Haran until his father, Terah, died. Yesterday we talked about the blessings God promised Abram. Now it’s time for him to actually get up and GO into the land of Canaan.

So Abram left just as God said, and Lot left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, along with all the possessions and people they had gotten in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan and arrived safe and sound. Abram passed through the country as far as Shechem and the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites occupied the land. (verses 4-6)

I sometimes forget that Abram and Sarai weren’t the only ones affected when God called him. Notice that he had gathered “possessions and people” during his years in Haran. They were all traveling with him, including his nephew Lot. When God calls us out of our “Urs, ” we bring others with us. It may change many things in our families – the dynamics between husband and wife, or the patterns of parenting our children. It’s a scary thing to step out with God! One of the things that caused me the greatest struggle 34 years ago when I was deciding on whether or not to follow Christ, was the worry about how it would affect my marriage. Then my sister reminded me that God loved Don much more than I did, and I could be certain that God would take care of him. He did!

The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. (vs 7-9)

Here God makes that great promise to give Abram’s children the land of Canaan. Abram’s response? Worship! He immediately builds an altar to God – a memorial to remind himself and those who would see it that God had blessed him. And then he builds another one after he pitches his tent! This is a great lesson for us. We, too, should build “altars” to God when He has done something amazing in our lives. How would we do that? Certainly by worshiping Him, and then by telling others about it –  maybe by journaling about it to leave a legacy of our faith walk for our children and grandchildren to see.

I love that Abram was a tent-dweller! Abram lived in a very temporary home (the last verse tells us he “set out and continued” as God directed him), because, as Hebrews 11:10 tells us, he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. We know that our life on this earth is SHORT! We, too, are “tent-dwellers.” With Abram, we look forward to our eternal home whose foundation is Jesus Christ.

Abram was dragging around his possessions with him. Imagine what that was like for Sarai! Those of us who have made moves know the horrendous amount of work it is to pack and carry our “things” with us! I would guess that they had it all trimmed down to the essentials, but, nonetheless, our things can certainly get in the way of our following God, can’t they?

I’m already loving this man and I’m anxious to learn more about Sarai, the remarkable woman who followed her man as he followed God! More about that tomorrow…


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