With the life of Abram who would become Abraham we see for the first time a detailed view of the walk of faith that each believer goes through in one way or another. This is a story of faith and doubt, of courage and fear, of intercession and surrender, of obedience and disobedience, but of the surety of the verse Philippians 1: 6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Because through it all God will never leave you until the best outcome possible in His plan is accomplished in your life and your works will follow you to heaven, sometimes long after you get there as in Abraham's life. As Jesus said in John 6:29 ; This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
So we get into the life of Abram, one of my favorite saints in the bible.
Vs. 1-5 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, it isn't really specific WHEN the Lord had said that, whether while they were in Ur or after thay had arrived in Haran. Many people, myself included, had believed that Abram left from Ur but as we have seen he left with his family from Ur to settle in Haran in the last chapter. Let's see what Abram was told, 1. Get out of your country, 2. Get away from your family, 3. Go to an unknown land. He is then given a promise, that his offspring would become a great nation , that he would be blessed, and have a great name in history and that he would be a blessing, so much so that ALL the families of the earth would be blessed through him. He was also told that God would bless those that blessed him and curse those that cursed him. This is a pattern repeated throughout scripture where God will say here is your part and here is your reward for doing your part. It stresses me out sometimes to hear people repeat the promises of God and forget the responsibilities. For instance I often hear the promise repeated And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. But almost NEVER the verse before it If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; John 8: 31 and 32.
Anyway Abram believes God and leaves his fathers house and his country but takes his nephew with him, which will be a problem later. Just like many of us he obeys but imperfectly yet God honors his obedience. Just to put it in context suppose God told you to get out of your country and go someplace unknown but He would tell you on the way? And while you are imagining that think about how the world was at that time, pretty uncivilized and very dangerous. and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
So Abram leaves and arrives in the land of Canaan. Remember that it was Canaan and his children that were cursed by Noah 8 generations earlier and now they were headed in the wrong direction as evidenced by the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where their time was about up and the rest of this land which God would later say about the Amorites one of Canaan's descendants for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. In Genesis 15:16 while explaining to Abraham that it would be some time before his people possessed the land.
Sometimes I feel that is the only thing holding back the fulfillment of Revelations in our time, the iniquity of the planet is not yet full as well as the statement of Jesus that the gospel of the kingdom would be preached in all the world before the end would come.
Abram arrives in the land of Canaan and passed through it stopping at several places and the Lord appears to him again to confirm he was in the right place. Often that is the case that God will allow you to get in a place of obeying your last instructions before letting you know He is still there, though He was there all the time. Abram builds an alter after God appears to him and then moved near to Bethel where he built another alter and called on the name of the Lord. It is curious that the bible is silent about whether God answered or not. Sometimes when God is silent it is because you are already where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to do, as Abram was. Anyway Abram packs up his tents and journeys to the South.
Here comes Abrams first test in the new land, famine. One might say it is possible that if God had not answered Abram earlier that Abram might have thought there was a famine of hearing God first, I think each of us can relate to that and if not keep at it and you will sooner or later. The famine was bad and Abram decides to go to Egypt where there was food. To be fair to Abram it is possible that he didn't yet know the boundaries of the land God had given him, but in truth he was outside those boundaries. To make matters worse he was not trusting God to protect him and worked a deal with his wife Sarai to say she was his sister instead of his wife. Predictably word got to Pharaoh that she was pretty and he took her for himself but did not have relations with her. In my opinion this was an another attempt by the devil to defeat Gods plan, imagine if Pharaoh had gotten Sari pregnant how that would have changed history. God takes care of those He has chosen though and plagued Pharaoh's house until He got his attention until he returned Sarai to Abram scolding him in the process and sending him away with all that he had, which included all he had gained in Egypt. Even though Abram was out of the place God intended for him to be and in doubt concerning God's protection he was protected and prospered by God. Thankfully God has not changed.