Reading: Genesis 12: 1-4
At the age of 75, God asks Abram to move. Abram has been living in Haran with his wife Sarai, his father Terah, and with Terah’s grandson Lot. Over the course of his time there, Abram and his family have established themselves, accumulating land and livestock. They are comfortable and secure. In addition, at this time people were not mobile. Almost everyone was born, lived, and died in a small geographic area. Labor was manual, many hands were required, and land was passed down from one generation to the next. It would be very odd and very hard for someone to just pack up and head off to someplace. For Abram, it would have been a tough concept for him to wrap his head around.
God’s request comes with some promises to Abram. God will bless Abram and make him into a great nation. God will bless those who Abram blessed and will curse those he curses. God will bless all the people of the earth through him. This is quite a list of promises. There is much for Abram to ponder. Perhaps. Maybe Abram would have gone simply because God asked. Maybe God did not need to offer the promised. Maybe Abram’s trust and faith in God was sufficient to follow the request. Maybe the hope of a better future enabled Abram to follow God’s direction.
If I were Abram, I too would want assurances and promises if God asked me to do something that required so much trust and faith. I want them each day as I simply journey through life. When God leads or the Holy Spirit nudges or whispers, there is a moment of choice. Do I follow and respond or do I deny and refuse? Often there is an unknown to God’s requests. But we too have promised to rely on. We also have experiences where we have trusted God and had faith in His lead, times when we have been blessed because God was at work through us. These assurances and promises enable us to boldly step forward as God leads and directs. May it be so today.