In the last post I mentioned when God called Abram out of his comfort zone in Ur. I think I jumped the gun in saying at that point Abram was called by God because the scriptures plainly state that Terah (his father) first took them all out of Ur and on to Haran. After Terah died is when the scriptures actually state that God actually called Abram out of his “comfort zone” into the land of Canaan.
31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
I understand that Haran is a dry and parched land and apparently it was not an easy life there (Here is a link to some interesting pictures of the area). Maybe that is one reason Abram was so ready to leave when God called him out to Canaan. I know that there is some symbolism here. How often is it that we are found in a dry and parched land when God calls us to a better place? Even as a Christian, we can be found not serving or not being and doing as God called us to in the first place. When God finds us there He will call us out. He loves us too much to leave us there! If we respond we will be blessed immeasurably! God had much in store for Abram. He told him to leave all he had become accustomed to and then he would be blessed. How true that is for us as well. We get comfortable in our walk with the Lord and then get complacent. That is not a good place to be. Remember what Jesus said about being “lukewarm”. I wrote a post before entitled “Lukewarm or Hot”. Click the link to read that post.
16 ”So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[g] I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
Anyway, this is not a place for any Christian. We need to heed the call and be about our Father’s business when He calls us to be a Christian. It is difficult sometimes for a new Christian because they have no good “examples” to follow here on earth. However, we need not look to anyone on earth but Jesus Christ alone. If you have no one in your life but Him, you have enough!
Now, onward to when Abram heeded his call of God. When Abram was in Haran with all his family and all of the things he had acquired over the years of being there, God calls him to leave after his father’s death. To leave the country, the family and his father’s house.
God promises a blessing to Abram and promises to make his name great and to bless others through him. This is a wonderful place to be. God promises… if we go and do His will the same promise can be ours as Abram’s was.
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country, From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan.”
Abram had to leave everything he had become so accustomed to, family, home and land. However, the promise of God was so much bigger than what he already had. Abram showed tremendous faith in picking up and moving, finally. Packing up and taking all that he had acquired was no small task in and of itself. He took wife, his nephew Lot (because Lot’s father died prematurely), and all that they had acquired. That had to be quite a bit of “stuff”. I love the picture here. I can imagine that traveling in this manner was not the most comfortable… not like our air conditioned, smooth riding vehicles for sure. I am not sure the young boys would be bare footed though…anyway, it was a great task, nonetheless.
I mentioned in the other post about this trek that God put Abram’s foot to, had to cause some anxiety and concern at first. I know these folks were somewhat nomads but to pick-up everything and move to a land unknown… then to have God tell you He will give the land that you are entering to your descendants. WOW… that is a lot to grasp.
Reflecting back on what this series is all about.. Prayer… and remember prayer is conversation with God. Either initiated by God or you. Along Abram’s journey to this land God was taking him to, God appeared to Abram. It doesn’t really say in what form, just that he appeared. Abram does the thing that he apparently had been taught in all of his years with his father Terah and the grandfathers before. He knew the importance of building an altar and worshiping God after being brought through something along your journey with God. We don’t build altars this day and age out of stone but we do have ways to worship and praise God for things He brings us through. God loves the sacrifice of praise! He deserves so much more from us! We should be worshiping God and praising His name every day – if not every moment of every day – for what He has done for us.
So Abram builds an altar and makes a sacrifice to the Lord for all He had done so far. (this is only one of many altars Abraham will build in his time). Then he continues on throughout the land. Remember they are nomads and move from here to there and always seem to be on the move. However, when Abram came into the land between Bethel and Ai he built another altar to the Lord. In my reading and research ,I understand Bethel translates “House of God” and Ai translates “ruin”. I found a paragraph of Ray Stedman’s sermon “The Beginning of Faith” that I would like to share about Abram’s alter he made between these two places.
“The fourth point is that this is a life of unending choice. Abram pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai. Bethel means “the house of God,” Ai means “ruin.” This is just where we must live the Christian life, ever looking either to the things of God, or to the ruin of the flesh. We can choose to go to Bethel or to Ai, to Christ or self — it can never be both. I am either pleasing myself, or pleasing him. I am either at Bethel, the house of God, or at Ai, the place of ruin. I must continually choose.”
So it is that we, as Christians, must choose. We live in a world of “worldly” people and things that capture our attention. However, God calls us to keep our eyes on Him for our instructions and direction. Worship, follow, praise is all we really need to do. God has the Perfect Plan for our lives. We need to be in the process daily of seeking Him on all we do and build our altars of worship and praise to the One who brings us through each moment of every day!