Focal Passages: Genesis 12:1-7; 15:5-8, 13-17
Based on nothing but His sovereign grace, God called Abram to leave the idolatrous land of his ancestors and go to a new unknown place. We find one of God’s greatest promises to Abram at the end of Genesis 12:3: “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” God was going to build the nation of Israel from Abram’s descendants, but He was going to use Abram in a way that would bless even the Gentiles. God used Abram but it was not for Abram’s glory. God desires to do great things through us, but His plans are never ultimately about us – they are for His glory!
I have been blessed to rejoice in the salvation of both children and adults, and some of those adults have been well past retirement. Abram was 75 when God called. Imagine all the excuses he could have offered considering his age, his wealth, his family and his comfort. Nevertheless, he packed up his wife, his nephew, his servants, and all his possessions (Remember, he was rich!), and headed for the land of Canaan. Abram never fully possessed the Promised Land (Hebrews 11:13), but He believed God would give it to his descendants. Consequently, he built an altar to worship “the Lord who had appeared to him” (Genesis 12:7). The only reason we can worship God is because He has made Himself known to us through Jesus Christ. Our response to that revelation must be faithful obedience. When God says, “Go!” we must go.
Abram needed a descendant to be a blessing to all nations, and God told him of descendants as numerous as the stars before he had a son. Abram believed God would provide a son, and God declared him righteous because of his faith. God’s presence passed between the halves of the sacrifice to confirm His presence and His promise. When Jesus came, God the Son walked among men and provided the atoning sacrifice that would make believing Jews and Gentiles children of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:14).