“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (Genesis 12:1)
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” (Genesis 12:2)
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
In our devotion last Friday, “God’s Sovereign Call,” we keyed on the phrase “had said,” showing God had called Abram in the Ur of the Chaldees. This shows the Sovereign Selection of Abram in the midst of paganism and idolatry, for which Ur was noted.
But it is also very revealing to see God’s Plan unfold in what He told Abram (verse 1) even before Abram left Ur of Chaldees:
- “Get thee out of thy country”
- “And from thy kindred,”
- “And from thy father’s house,”
God dealt with Abram’s Position and Possessions:
God demands a change in one’s Position. When God reveals that you belong to Him – and not to self or man – you cannot stay in Egypt (or in sin). You must separate yourself from the world. (See 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24.)
Also, your walk, talk, attitude, actions, and attire must change when you come to the knowledge that you are a Child of God. (Please read 1 Corinthian 6:9-20; “And such were some of you: but…”)
There is always a Cost to Discipleship. (See Luke 14:26-33; Matthew 5, 6, 7; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 10:3-5; 1 John 2:4-6; etc.)
- It will cost you family ties and relationship (Luke 14:26).
- It will cost you self. You must surrender, submit, obey and endure – your new Master is Jesus Christ.
- It will cost you your Possessions. (See Matthew 16:26; 8:37.) Your motives and goals must change from the world to God and His Commands.
In verse 12:1, there is a definite change from country, family, present livelihood – to “a land.” This land is spiritual; “a city… whose builder and maker is God…a better country, that is, an heavenly…” (See Hebrews 11:10-16.)
God had Abram to move in the physical. But God was teaching him spiritual truths about Himself as King and about His Kingdom (even the City of God, New Jerusalem), as we will see as God progressively reveals Himself in His Word.
Now Abram’s New Position:
The Land – physically it was the Land of Canaan; but spiritually, it was the City of God, even His Body, the Church, as manifested in the New Testament.
Now Abram’s New Possessions:
“I will make of thee a great nation” (verse 2a); yes physically it would be Israel; but spiritually it would be the Children of Faith, the Church of the Living God (Romans 9:6-8; Galatians 3:16-29).
“I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing… and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (verses 2-3). All families of the earth, Jew and Gentile, shall be blessed (the Elect out of the Jew and Gentile). This is realized in Christ; Abram was to be a type of Christ in some ways. (See Galatians 3:6-29, especially verses 14, 16, 18.) Abraham would become the Father of the Faithful, or the father of those who would possess the same faith as Abram possessed. This Faith was and is Christ, Who is The Faith (Galatians 2:20).
Yes, Abraham was blessed physically. But God was teaching His People of Spiritual things in Christ.
As a side note, Abram left the Ur of Chaldees, but he did not go to the Land of Promise until his daddy died in Haran. How old was Abram when he left the Ur of Chaldees? We don’t know. How long did he stay in Haran? We don’t know.
But Genesis 12:4 tells us he was 75 years old when he left Haran and came to dwell in the Land of Canaan; in verses 4-7, Abram took his wife, his nephew Lot, and the souls they had gotten in Haran, and went into the Land of Canaan.
When Abram arrived in Canaan, we are told (in verse 7), the Lord appeared to Abram and confirmed His Promise to Abram in the Ur of the Chaldees (see verses 1-3). Then Abram built an altar and called upon the Name of the Lord (verses 7-8).
Abram finally had come to where God had called him to go – The Land – in type, for Abram came to the Land of Canaan, called the Promise Land; because God had promised it to Abram. So also God has promised the Church to His Elect, as we will see later. (See Hebrews 11:10-13.)
Now that we learned of God’s Conversation and Promise to Abram (12:1-3) while he was in the Ur of Chaldees; verse 11:31 comes into view:
“…and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.” (Genesis 11:31)
(Please read Acts 7:1-5.)
Often times we spend many years between God’s Revelation and Promise of our Possession – and the actual possessing of our Possession. Acts 7:5 calls the Land of Canaan Abraham’s “possession,” even his inheritance. Now, on this side of the Cross, the Day of Pentecost, His Return in Power and Glory, and the Revelation of the Church as His Bride, the Holy City, New Jerusalem – we see that the Land (Abraham’s Inheritance) is spiritual, and not physical at all.
How many years did Abram stayed in Haran until his daddy died? We know not. But we know this – one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year spent in Haran and not in Canaan – is a Missed Opportunity.
There are no Spiritual Blessings outside of God’s Place of Promise (or His House, His Body, His Bride, even the Church).
It is also a fact that when we don’t follow Christ all the way, we end up living in Haran. In one way of viewing it, these years in Haran are wasted years. But of course, in God’s Plan, He uses our wasted years to conform us to His Image by revealing that we are not who we are supposed to be, we are not who we are going to become. He reveals that we are not receiving God’s Best; and causes us to look to Him and determine to follow Him completely.
Abram evidently had a family problem. Genesis 12:1 reveals that God had told him to separate from his country and his kindred. But Abram did not do that – until his father died.
The questions are – What is standing in our way of Blessing? Have we fully followed Christ?
Child of God, know that Haran is not where any of God’s Children belong; for we belong in the Land of Promise, the City of God, the Body of Christ, the Church. And it will be in the Church that we can worship God as Abram did in 12:7-8, “…there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.”
To get God’s Best, you must be where God is. You must be where God has called you to be. That place is the Church; the Place of Regenerated People, Spirit-indwelt people, Spirit-filled people; people who have given their entire body, soul, and spirit unto God; those who tend to God first, and everything else second and third. He must be their first love; and not this world, family, fame, fortune, whatever.
Review Luke 14:26-33 carefully. Then review Ruth’s story; she left all to go to Naomi’s God and land.