Summary: The call of Abram in Genesis 11:27-12:9 shows us that God gives his people the earth to reclaim for the kingdom of God.
Today I am starting a new series of sermons on “The Life of Abraham.” We shall examine several selected incidents in his life.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis describe the beginning of all things. We learn there about the cosmic clash between the serpent and the seed of the woman. After the Fall of man into sin, people eventually became so wicked that God destroyed the entire world by a flood, saving only Noah and his family. However, after some time, people once again rebelled against God by seeking to make a name for themselves and building the tower of Babel. God confused the language of all the earth. And from there he dispersed people over the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:9).
Ten generations from Noah we come to Abram, later called Abraham, whose life story we shall begin examining today.
Let’s read about the call of Abram in Genesis 11:27-12:9:
27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. (Genesis 11:27-12:9)
The movie Pearl Harbor tells of the events leading up to and immediately following the Japanese attack on the U.S. on December 7, 1941. The film follows the fictional lives of two fighter pilots, Raph and Danny, who have been inseparable friends since childhood and are stationed at the same base in Hawaii.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Raph and Danny are called into Colonel Jimmy Doolittle’s office. They have succeeded in downing seven Japanese planes.
Doolittle stands behind his desk and addresses the pilots somberly.
“You’ve both been awarded the silver star. You’re just about the only pilots with combat experience. I need you for a mission I’ve been ordered to put together.”
Raph and Danny look nervously pleased. Doolittle looks them over carefully.
“Do you know what ‘top secret’ is?” he asks.
Raph responds with a wry smile. “Yes, sir! It’s the kind of mission when you get medals, but they send them to your relatives.”
Ignoring the remark, Doolittle continues, “Top secret means you train for something never done before in aviation history—and you go without knowing where you’re going. You do it on that basis or not at all.”
Honored to be asked, yet unsure of what they are committing to, both men agree to go.
Over 4,000 years ago, God issued a similar call to Abram. He called Abram to go without knowing where he was going. Likely, Abram was unsure of what he was committing to, but he still obeyed God.