2018-10-10 / Religion

Abram’s obedience to the call of God

Sunday School Lesson
Rev. James Temples

Genesis 9-12

In weaving of the tapestry of redemption, using the loom of time, many different human threads are required. From our personal perspective, some of those “threads” seem to be “more important” than others. Yet, each of these parts adds its own hue to the divine pattern.

The entrance of sin into our human race caused our need for a savior. This race “started over” with Noah and his family. The record might seem tedious to us, but it was quite important to those families. We need to remember that these individuals were “links in the chain” through which our savior came into the world. The Tower of Babel showed rebellious mankind that God was/is in complete control of his creation. Thus, the groups were scattered, on the basis of language.

We read of the “generation of Shem.” Genesis 11:10. In this family line we red that “Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.” Genesis 11:27. It would seem that Terah had received some kind of indication regarding his move from “the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.” Genesis 11:28b. The record continues, “And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran (the city), and dwelt there.” Genesis 11:31.

The story does not center on Terah, the father of Abram. The direct call came to the son. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy findred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” Genesis 12:1. The call of Abram included promises, “And I will (1) make thee a great nation, and I will (2) bless thee, and (3) make thy name great; and (4) thou shalt be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2. The individuals and nations that would be a help to Abram would receive a blessing, as the result of their treatment of this man and his offspring, “And I will bless them that bless thee.” Genesis 12:3a. Divine judgement would/will come to those who treat this man, or his offspring, with contempt or hostility, “and curse him that curseth thee.” Genesis 12:3b. The promise given extended well beyond the time of Abram and his immediate family, “and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3c

After Abram heard this divine declaration, his next act was “immediate and decisive,” “So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him.” Genesis 12:4a. There are those who would claim that Abram only partially obeyed the command, “and Lot went with him.” Genesis 12:4b. The indication is that this act was a decision made by Lot, not one made by his uncle. Age was/is no barrier to the call of God, “And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed from Haran.” Genesis 12:4c.

Hesitancy becomes a hinderance to obedience. The record declares, “And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Cannan they came.” Genesis 12:5.

This journey into an unknown land was made only on the basis of a divine verbal declaration There is no evidence for us to think that Abram sent a “scout” before him to “scope out” the land. The record declares, “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh.” Genesis 12:6a. The reputation of the local tribes had been made known to this faithful pilgrim. The declaration, “And the Canaanite was then in the land” (Genesis 12:6b) was enough information for Abram. Rather than this realization striking fear in the heart of this man, God gave him, further, assurance, “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” Genesis 12:7a. This promise prompted the patriarch to worship the One who had called him, “and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Genesis 12:7b.

Since Abram was living the life of a nomad, “he removed from thence (there) unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.” Genesis 12:8. We are told that “Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.” Genesis 12:9.

Obedience to the call of God does not guarantee one a life without difficulties. Even in this land of promise, “there was a famine in the land.” Genesis 12:10a. At this point, Abram made a move that did not include divine guidance. His move to the land of Egypt, using false pretense, ended pleasantly, only after divine intervention. Genesis 12:11-20.

The record gives us a glimpse of the riches that Abram had amassed. “And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Genesis 13:1,2. This faithful one came again to the place where he had worshipped, when he first entered this land, “and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.” Genesis 13:4b.

Our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe, might not call us to make the “drastic move” that was required of Abram. However, God does call to each of us. We must be willing to listen. Just as Abram was obedient, so must we be willing to answer our personal divine call. The life of the one who knows Jesus Christ as his or her personal savior never knows a “secular life” in contrast to a “spiritual life.” Our life belongs, totally, to the One who has saved us from the eternal consequences of sin. Please be obedient to your personal call, today.

Rev. James C. Temples’ Sunday School Lesson has appeared in the Early County News each week since 1967. A native of Early County, Rev. Temples taught in public schools 32 years and 10 years at Southeastern College of Assemblies of God, in Lakeland, Fla. He also served as pastor and evangelist during those years. He can be contacted at P. O. Box 1484, Swainsboro, GA 30401; 478- 299- 2068. Email: temples_james@yahoo.com

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