In the history of mankind, there have been pivotal moments that have shaped the course of history. One such moment was when God called Abraham (then known as Abram) to leave his homeland and embark on a journey of faith. This divine appointment forever changed not only the course of Abraham’s life but also laid the foundation for the nation of Israel and God’s redemptive plan for humanity.
In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the story of God’s call to Abraham, exploring the context, events, and significance of this life-altering moment. We’ll refer to the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible throughout this post.
The Background of Abraham’s Call
To understand the context of God’s call to Abraham, we first need to take a look at his family and the world in which he lived. Abraham was born in the city of Ur, which was located in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). His father, Terah, was a descendant of Shem, one of Noah’s sons. The Bible tells us that Terah had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran (Genesis 11:26).
During this time, the people of the world were worshiping various idols and false gods. In fact, Jewish tradition states that Terah himself was an idol maker, further illustrating the spiritual darkness that surrounded Abraham’s upbringing.
God, however, had a different plan for Abraham and his descendants. This plan began with a divine call to leave his homeland and follow God’s leading to a land He would show him.
The Call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
The Bible records the call of God to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3:
“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. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 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.'”
God’s call to Abraham was clear and decisive. He was to leave everything he knew – his country, family, and father’s house – and journey to an unknown land that God would reveal to him. This was not an easy task, as it required Abraham to fully trust in God and leave behind the comforts and securities he had known his entire life.
In exchange for his obedience, God made several promises to Abraham:
- He would make Abraham a great nation.
- He would bless Abraham and make his name great.
- Abraham would be a blessing to others.
- God would bless those who blessed Abraham and curse those who cursed him.
- Through Abraham, all the families of the earth would be blessed.
These promises were not only significant for Abraham, but they also laid the groundwork for God’s redemptive plan for humanity. The blessings that God promised to bestow upon Abraham would ultimately extend to all people through Jesus Christ, who would be born from the line of Abraham.
Abraham’s Response to God’s Call (Genesis 12:4-5)
Upon receiving God’s call, Abraham responded in faith and obedience:
“So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 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.”
Despite the immense challenge of leaving his homeland, family, and possessions, Abraham chose to trust in God and follow His leading. At the age of seventy-five, he set out on this incredible journey, taking his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all their possessions and servants with him.
It’s important to note that Abraham’s obedience was not a one-time event; it was a lifelong journey. His faith would be tested numerous times throughout his life, and each time, he would need to choose whether to trust God or rely on his own understanding.
The Significance of God’s Call to Abraham
The call of God to Abraham was a turning point in biblical history, as it marked the beginning of God’s covenant relationship with a specific people – the Israelites. Through this relationship, God would eventually bring forth the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul, in Galatians 3:16, points out that the promises God made to Abraham were ultimately fulfilled in Christ:
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.”
This covenant relationship also foreshadowed the New Covenant that would be established through Jesus’ death and resurrection, extending the blessings of God’s salvation to people of every nation and tongue.
Lessons We Can Learn from Abraham’s Call
There are several valuable lessons we can glean from the story of God’s call to Abraham:
- Obedience: Abraham’s obedience to God’s call serves as a powerful example for believers today. In a world filled with distractions and temptations, we too are called to follow God’s leading, even when it requires us to leave our comfort zones and step out in faith.
- Trust: The journey of faith requires us to trust in God’s promises, even when we don’t fully understand His plan. Abraham’s willingness to leave everything behind and follow God’s leading demonstrates the importance of trusting in God’s wisdom and timing.
- God’s Sovereignty: The story of Abraham’s call reminds us of God’s sovereign control over history. Despite the spiritual darkness of the world around him, God was working behind the scenes to bring about His redemptive plan through Abraham and his descendants.
- God’s Faithfulness: Throughout Abraham’s life, we see time and again how God kept His promises, even when Abraham faltered in his faith. This serves as a comforting reminder that God is faithful to His promises and will always fulfill His Word.
In conclusion, the story of God’s call to Abraham is a testament to the transformative power of faith, obedience, and trust in the Creator. Abraham’s journey, though filled with trials and uncertainties, demonstrates how God can use ordinary individuals to accomplish His extraordinary purposes. As we reflect on this story, we are reminded that our own lives can be part of God’s divine plan when we choose to submit to His will and embrace the journey He has set before us.
As believers, we can draw inspiration from Abraham’s unwavering faith and obedience to God’s call, which ultimately laid the foundation for the nation of Israel and the coming of Jesus Christ. This story serves as a powerful reminder that when we align our lives with God’s purposes, we become part of a larger narrative that extends beyond our immediate circumstances. We can trust that God’s promises are true and that He will guide and provide for us as we walk in obedience to His Word.
As we move forward in our own faith journeys, may we, like Abraham, have the courage to leave behind our comfort zones and step out in faith, trusting God to lead us every step of the way. As we do so, we can be confident that our lives will bear witness to God’s faithfulness, power, and love, ultimately contributing to His redemptive plan for all of humanity.