Summary: In the middle of his life, Abram receives a call to travel with God. Where does he find the courage to launch out?
From the Very Start
A Look at the Ancient Text of Genesis that speaks with Amazing Present-day Relevance
Courage for the Call
Genesis 12: 1-9
12 Then the LORD told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.
2 I will cause you to become the father of a great nation.
I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others.
3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.
All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram departed as the LORD had instructed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people who had joined his household at Haran—and finally arrived in Canaan. 6 Traveling through Canaan, they came to a place near Shechem and set up camp beside the oak at Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “I am going to give this land to your offspring.” And Abram built an altar there to commemorate the LORD’s visit.
8 After that, Abram traveled southward and set up camp in the hill country between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar and worshiped the LORD. 9 Then Abram traveled south by stages toward the Negev.
This is a call to Travel with God.
God invites on a journey. One that will be long and difficult. This will be an uncomfortable journey. One that require everything Abram can must over the remainder of his life. But I’d like you to notice a few things:
- Abram doesn’t speak in the story
o No questions , No excuses, No tests, No complaints
I was involved in a verbal tussle with my wife one morning; “I really don’t want to go.” “You have to get up and go, dear.” “I really don’t like being there you know…” She tried to console me, “Yes you do…” “But nobody there likes me, hon,” I complained. “Sure they do,” she assured me. “I really just don’t want to go,” I insisted. She insisted right back, “You have to go to church this morning, you’re preaching.”
- Abram doesn’t see the whole story
o This will be a difficult, uncomfortable journey. He doesn’t know that. If he did, he might not go.
o He has glimpse of what is coming. “I will make you a Father of many nations…”
- Abram doesn’t search for the hidden story
o If Abram is doing soul searching, “Why would God want me to do this? What greater purpose does he have…” we’re never told.
o God certainly does have a huge, amazing plan for Abram. But Abram doesn’t make it his problem to decipher and decode God’s agenda. He just jumps on the path and travels with God.
- God speaks and with ears of faith Abram listens.
- Abram figures out that his job is to join God on the journey. He’s got his wife and his nephew with him, But he will quickly and frequently discover God is his traveling companion.
- And for Abram the journey has just started.
o He’s 75 years old
o He’s gone his entire life without children. 75 years, probably 55 of them married to Sarai, all those years of hoping God would bless them, all those years wondering why things were working out the way he had hoped. 75 years of feeling helpless, struggling with doubts and despair about his future.
o At age 75 – God speaks and gives Abram a call.
§ Sure there are the Jeremiahs out there who hear God’s call early in life. But there are also people like Abram, who don’t hear the call until much later in life. “Middlers” they’re called. People who live one life doing one thing, and a second life answering God’s call to travel with him.
- So what does this mean to me? It reminds me that God invites each of us on a journey with him – we too are called to travel with God. But sometimes, we’re a little too busy to hear it, aren’t we. Sometimes we’re a little too preoccupied to hear the invitation, a little too proud to consider the request, too busy doing too many things, or even just talking too much.
- In our prayer lives we spend all kinds of time talking. Telling God what we want…
- For a week, do the opposite:
o Instead of making lists, make yourself listen to God. See if you hear his invitation to travel with him on a journey.