“So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.”Genesis 12:4-5
Like most children, nighttime routines with our young son can be a struggle. Whether it is picking up his toys, putting on pajamas, or brushing his teeth, my wife and I have quickly learned there can be an excuse for everything.
“Put away your Matchbox cars.”
“Their race isn’t over yet. They only have 99 more laps!”
“Go brush your teeth.”
“I can’t. I’m busy picking up cars like you said.”
Then there are other nights when it feels as if he wants to engage in an ongoing philosophical discussion starting with one word: “Why?” We do our best to explain the variety of reasons he needs to listen and follow our instructions, but admittedly I have found myself exasperated and simply say, “Because I said so.” Even then that doesn’t always work. What typically gets his attention is when the conversation transitions to consequences. Parenting would be so much easier if he listened the first time and
If we are honest, doesn’t that reflect our relationship with God at times? He wants us to be obedient, but instead we do our best to make excuses and question His authority over our lives. Sometimes only when it becomes blatantly clear we are facing consequences, we reluctantly follow God. Other times, we may choose to ignore Him completely.
After Abram’s father died in Haran, God told Abram, at 75 years old, to take all his possessions and leave his country and people for an unknown land. This was after Abram, his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and his father Terah had also left Ur of the Chaldeans for Canaan, but settled in Haran instead.
Now Abram was being told to leave his comfortable and familiar lifestyle in Haran and trade it for a nomadic one full of uncertainty. Abram could have reasoned the timing and circumstances weren’t right or that Abram already had his own plans for his life in Haran. Instead, the Bible says that Abram obeyed and went just as the Lord had told him.
It was not explicitly clear to Abram why God was telling him to leave home for Canaan, but the Bible tells of the promises and outcomes God shared with Abram that would be a result of his faithfulness and obedience!
If we as individuals, families, and a body of believers understand that God is for us; if we are more valuable than the birds of the air; if we know in all things God works for our good, then why do we not have the faithfulness of Abram when God calls us to obey and go?