May 2023

He was either a real adventurer or crazy or Abram had a life changing encounter with the Lord. Seventy-five years of age is not the milestone where most people would sell their property, load up the camels and travel nearly 500 miles to a place they’ve never been and with no family waiting to greet them. Likely, more than one of his neighbors told him he was crazy. Faith will look crazy to people whose only hope lies in the stuff they can hold.

The Lord was calling Abram into something more than an adventure, though it would certainly be that. This was more than a “Go West young man” moment. It was more than “Let’s see if we can build a new life” and certainly more than “I’ve just got to get out of this town.” Abram was an old man and he had a life. All the indications were that he was well established in Haran and had become prosperous. However, the Lord had more in mind for Abram and Sarai than simply their comfort and security. He was bringing them into the Promise. The same promise that the Lord had made in the hearing of Adam and Eve, the promise of healing, redemption and restoration made in Gen. 3:15 and carried onto the Ark was now being made to Abram. He would have grasped this at some level when the Lord said to him, “I will make you into a great nation…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:2-3) So Abram loaded up and ventured out, not knowing where he was going or what lay ahead.

In Heb. 11:8-9 we read, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents….” In obedience to the command of the Lord and in light of the promise he left what was familiar and comfortable. The promise propelled him into the unknown.

In John 1:14 it says, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” The scholars will tell you that the phrase, “made His dwelling” is literally the term “tabernacled.” Thus, our modern understanding of this verse would be that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity pitched his tent among us. In accordance with the will of the Father and in light of the Promise, the Son of God came and lived “like a stranger in a foreign country.” The infinite, eternal, omnipotent, sovereign Son of God confined Himself in a human body! The worship and adoration of heaven and the immediate, intimate presence of the Father He left behind, not to be part of the promise but to fulfill it.

However, in fulfilling the promise, He was given a life of meagerness and ignominy rather than prosperity and status. As Isaiah said, He would be a man of sorrow and familiar with suffering. He would be scorned, rejected and ultimately put to death by the ones He came to rescue. Yet, His sojourn among us would end in His resurrection, the down payment on the promise to redeem and restore what was broken by our rebellion. Now like Abram, our Lord is calling us out of our comfort, out of what’s familiar, to go and join Him in the work of the promise. Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations. This is His command to the church so that, “…all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” By faith in Jesus and the work He has done we are blessed so that we might be a blessing to all peoples.