When Abram was 75 years old, God called him to leave his home and travel to a new land making the following unilateral covenant with his descendants:
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.
Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”
And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
It’s amazing to think that a 75 year-old man and wife ten years his junior would choose to embark on a 400-mile adventure with all their flocks, herds and entourage. Try to project yourself into that scenario!
Traveling from Haran to Shechem, their journey was an act of obedience based on Abram’s faith in God’s promise to give him the land of Canaan as a possession, a posterity to inhabit the land and a name of great renown.
Abram’s obedience shaped the course of human history from that moment forward. Not only did God command Abram to be a blessing, but also promised that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him. The reciprocal action between blessing and cursing Abram and his descendants is first mentioned in this recorded interaction.
It was here in Shechem (Arabic: Nablus) that God appeared to Abram confirming his arrival in the land of promise. In a further act of faith, Abram built an altar to the One-true God (Gen.12:6).
The first stage of Abram’s adventure with God was complete—an experience he would never have known without the first step of faith!
Every adventure with God begins with a first step of faith—whether we enjoy the journey is up to us!
1) Terebinth tree (pistacia palaestina). By Eitan f (Own work) [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Elon Moreh (Plain of Moreh) panorama. By (myself) [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture from the NKJV.