8 - Abram Leaves Ur
January 8 - Nº 8 Genesis 12:1-9
As time continued, the individual language groups that formed at the Tower of Babel became separate city-states or nations. Urwas a large city-state that sprang up in the Mesopotamian Valley. Located on the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the Euphrates River, it quickly became well-known as a center for trade, law, arts, and culture. But the people continued to worship the pagan deities they had been introduced to in Babel. There was a wealthy man who lived in Ur named Abram. He was one of the few men on earth who loved God. God noticed this, and challenged him to leave the rebellious culture he lived in. He wanted him to become the father of a new nation—one that would follow God and experience His amazing love and blessings; one that could demonstrate to the rest of the world how great it is to be known as “God’s people.” So, God told Abram to leave this important city and move to a new land. He didn’t tell him where the land was. He just wanted Abram to trust Him. He also told Abram to leave his Dad behind. You see, Abram’s father worshiped idols (see Joshua 24:2), and God did not want anyone to lead His new nation into sin. God made four promises to Abram in the form of a covenant. If Abram followed Him . . . 1. He would take him to a new land. 2. He would make him a great nation. This meant that Abram, who was already 75 years old and had no children, would have many, many descendants. 3. He would make his name great. This is ironic, since the quest for a “great name” had previously gotten so many people in serious trouble with God (#7 – January 7). 4. He would bless those who blessed Abram; and curse those who cursed him; and through him all the nations would be blessed. This brand-new nation would cause other nations to see God’s love and protection, so they would want to worship Him too. Abram obeyed God, but it wasn’t exactly easy. When they first left Ur, Abram’s father Terah decided to go along. Since he worshiped idols, God would not allow Terah to enter the new land He had promised to Abram. The whole caravan had to stop in Harran and wait for Abram’s father to die (see Genesis 11:31-32 and Acts 7:2-4). When Abram finally got to the land God had promised, it was filled with wicked warriors called Canaanites. But God made it clear that this was the land He had chosen. Even though it didn’t seem like a safe place to live, the first thing Abram did was build an altar to worship God and thank Him. Even in the middle of all the evil people in Canaan, he chose to trust the promises God had made. One day this land would be his. Abram traveled from place to place, and everywhere he went, he built an altar and made it known that he loved God; and that he wanted to be identified by “God’s name.”
Is there someone or something in your life that is keeping you from going where God wants you to go? How do you think God wants you to respond? Do you trust God to take care of you if you decide to totally obey Him?