“The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.’” Genesis 1:1, 2
Abram and his family lived in Ur of the Chaldeans, an area with a highly developed society. The homes were large and built of brick and wood, usually three stories tall. Of all the cities in Sumeria, Ur was probably the largest. It was a pagan society, worshiping the gods who ruled each city, as well as other gods of nature, and the moon and stars.
We don’t really know why Abram’s father Terah left Ur, but we know from the Bible he left Ur and started to Canaan. They traveled north up the Euphrates River but he stopped and settled in Haran, another pagan city. It was in Haran that God called Abram to leave his family and go on to Canaan.
Why did God speak to Abram? Was Abram looking for another god, one who created the moon they had worshiped?
Dr. Gene Getz says “But we do know from Noah’s example (6:8-9) that when God deals with us, He begins His acts of mercy by communicating with those whose hearts are open to truth. From his response to God’s call, Abraham seemed to be this kind of man, although he was just as steeped in idolatry as his father (Josh. 24:2).”1
Whether Abram was looking for the true God or not, the One True God did speak to him and called him to follow, to go to a place he’d never seen. God called him to leave behind everything and everyone who represented the former pagan way of life. Abram answered that call, packed up his wife and started toward Canaan.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:1
Abraham, as God later renamed him, did not know where he was going. He probably left behind a comfortable life and a comfortable home to become a nomad. The Bible says they dwelt in tents, looking for a city whose builder was God. (Heb. 11:9)
God calls us to follow Him. He’s called me to things I feel inadequate for. He takes me out of my comfort zone to follow Him to new ventures. I’d like to stay in my easy place, with my idols of self interests. But God bids me “Come, follow me. I’ll show you where we’re going as we go. I’ll show you great and wonderful things if you only follow Me.”
Are you ready to leave your easy life behind and follow God? Are you ready to give up your comfortable place to follow Him? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone?
There are lost and hurting people in the world who need to know Jesus. They need to hear that He loves them and He died for them. Let’s stop playing church and really follow God.
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Getz, Gene A., 1996, Abraham, Holding Fast to the Will of God. Broadman & Holdman Publishers.