Reading: Genesis 12:1-9
Verse 4: “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.”
As we pick up the story of Abram it seems like we’ve found another person who hears from God and responds immediately. This is often the perceived narrative of the call stories in the Bible. It is the narrative for Matthew when we turn to his call story on Thursday. In reality, though, responding to a call of God is not so simple.
Abram was a descendant of Shem, one of Noah’s sons. For generations his family has worshipped God. As Shem’s clan grew in size, they spread to the south and east of Canaan. Abram’s father Terah decided to return to their ancestral homeland but only got as far as Haran. After Terah dies, God comes to Abram and says, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” God is asking Abram to leave all he knows. God offers Abram a wonderful blessing and Abram leaves, stepping into the unknown, fully trusting God as he goes.
Now, hypothetically, if God said to an atheist, ‘Pack up all your stuff. Load up the U-Haul and go to the place I will show you,’ how many would go? Let’s increase the odds. If God said the same thing to a nominal Christian, how many would go? Maybe 1 or 2 in a million? You see, that’s the thing about Abram. He was a devout follower of God. He knew exactly who was speaking to him. It is in faith that he receives the call and the blessing. It is in faith that he sets out. May it be so for you and for me when God calls.
Prayer: Lord God, the steady, daily, intimate walk of faith builds our relationship with you. It increases our willingness to follow your voice. Day by day, strengthen and encourage our walk, preparing us to respond in faith and trust when you call. Amen.