by Ruth Olsen
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Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1).
It was time to pack up camp and move on. Abram had left the land of his birth, Ur of the Chaldeans, with his wife Sarai, his father Terah and his nephew Lot to go to Canaan. On the way, they came to Haran, a flourishing caravan city, and settled there until after Terah died (Genesis 11:27–32).
God had previously spoken to Abram (see Acts 7:2–5), and now the call from God to move on came again. ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’ (Genesis 12:1). In effect, ‘Lay down your life and trust me to lead you to somewhere good’. They go. And again his nephew Lot joined the entourage. After arriving in the land of Canaan, they went as far south as Shechem where the Lord appeared again to Abram, promising to give the land to Abram’s descendants even though Abram had no children as yet. Abram responded by building an altar there to the Lord, likewise again between Bethel and Ai, before continuing further south toward the Negev.
Why was Abram, whose father Terah worshipped other gods (see Joshua 24:2–4), willing to turn away from that culture to trust the Lord? This man who responded to God’s call also had feet of clay, as the following chapters in Genesis display. Yet it is evident he came to know the Lord intimately through activated trust and personal encounter. His journey of trusting God features later in the ‘Hall of Faith’ chapter (Hebrews 11:8–19).
Abba Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, increase in us your Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may know you more and more. Amen.