God’s plan to bless all nations begins to take shape in the life of Abraham and his family
We tend to think of the story of Jesus as beginning in the New Testament. And of course, that is where His life on earth began. But God had been preparing His plan for Jesus’ coming right back in the depths of eternity as well as in the days of Adam and Noah. This plan began to take more shape in earth-time during the life of Abram, who came to be known as Abraham. So in these first readings we shall look at the early days of Abram’s life and see how God made irrevocable promises about Abram’s family, and ultimately the nation of Israel.
v 8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.
Setting out on a journey is fine – provided that you know where you are going. Those of you who are keen walkers will know only too well that you can only travel successfully when you have a clear idea of the destination. That enables you to plan a route, keep an eye open for significant landmarks as you pass them, and get a rough idea of how long the walk might take. You are then in control of the walk; the plan, the schedule and the route are pretty well defined for you. So just imagine Abraham: What’s the destination – don’t know; Which way are we going – don’t know; How long is it going to take – don’t know. Abraham relinquished all control over his own destiny and allowed God to lead him onward. That was tough obedience!
We live so very differently; we like to be in control and have a clear plan. In fact, that is the way we are encouraged to think and live. To go through life without some clear aim or purpose in view is generally regarded as feeble or thoughtless.
However, Abraham did have a clear objective in mind – it was to follow and remain obedient and loyal to God. That life-purpose transcended everything. Obedience to the will of God was the guiding star of his life; his faith was no mere bolt-on facet to a full life – when God said GO, Abraham WENT.
I can already hear some of you reading this today saying ‘But God has never spoken THAT clearly to me!’ Just take hold of the fact that God’s nature is to make His purposes known to His people. I would invite you to reflect today on how God has made his purposes clear to you in life. It is unlikely to have been a trumpet call in your ear, but surely you have been aware of His prompting at different points in your life. Might you share that with someone today to encourage them through a time of uncertainty?