Summary: Abram’s calling - how does it relate to our calling as Kingdom Servants?
Ready For Great Things
Genesis 12: 1-20
CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
"Abram, it’s time. You must go."
And he went.
That’s the gist of Genesis 12 - the calling of a man from the city, challenged to move to a foreign nation and culture to serve a God not recognized in that place. An average man with an average faith.
Facing a challenging call - maybe even a bit threatening.
It’s also a call that echos through the pages of scripture, the same call that comes to believers down through the ages.
It is your call. And mine. Tonight I invite you to hear that call again.
When you read the opening verses of Genesis 12, it seems as if God spoke and without hesitation, in a flash, no questions asked, Abram picked up and responded. Truth be told, that response was years in the making. There was great big, "Ah, let me see, let me think about this" stuck in the middle.
The apostle Stephen, first martyr of the Church, tells the story of faith in Acts 7. In verse 2 he relates that Abram had been called while still in Mesopotamia. He was then re-called in Haran after his father had passed away. It is only then that Abram picked up and moved along to Canaan.
It’s a similar dynamic to the call given to the prophet Jeremiah, who was called by God, lagged in that calling, and then in Jeremiah 15:19-21 is re-called and re-posted as servant of the Almighty.
Perhaps it was the tugs and comforts of remaining with family; perhaps responsibilities to an elderly father. We’re never told. All we know is that something held Abram back, and God had to tap him on the shoulder a second time.
Familiar? Been there?
Had something pressed onto your heart, into your conscience - couldn’t escape it and knew that God was challenging you in a particular way....... but couldn’t bring yourself to go there, either. Push it away, rationalize that someone else is far better suited for this task; besides, you don’t have the time or the means. And yet - somehow it wouldn’t leave. Or, if it does fade into the background, soon enough - there it is again! Leaving you no choice but to respond.
Abram - his name is from the past. His challenges remain very real.
As real as the culture from which he came. He’d probably feel right at home here in Ottawa. Growing up in the big city, in a culture incredibly advanced with architecture, astronomy and math that was cutting edge, social structures that were very intricate, and economy that was fantastically wealthy.
He wasn’t from the fringes. No - Abram was from a culture as alive and moving as any, ever. Smart. Aware. That was the Mesopotamian culture of the day. And we can make a pretty fair assumption in judging that Abram was a slice out of that culture.
Till God says, "Come out of it."
And slices him away.
Leave the city streets you know so well.
The scenes you find so comfortable.
The social networks that keep you stable.
The recreation spots where your heart relaxes.
Just take the first step.
Don’t worry about forecasting and projecting outcomes.