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God Calls Abraham

The Bible in Art: God Calls Abraham

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Verses for Consideration: Genesis 12:1-5

 

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household  to the land  I will show you.

2 “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.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. ”

 

4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot  went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.  5 He took his wife Sarai,  his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated  and the people  they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan,  and they arrived there.

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Long before modern transportation, almost all people lived and died within a few miles of where they were born. Their roots were secure. Only the nomads traversing the desert on camels were the exception.

Modern urban sprawl has changed that for many people, making it difficult for many United States citizens to find where they grew up. Farms and grocery stores disappear; forests and fields yield to airports, parking lots, and office buildings. Many have no idea of where their childhood took place.

Abraham experienced change and uprooting. The Lord God commanded him to leave his country, people, and father’s family and to go to an unknown land far away.Nothing would ever be the same. Abraham would never return.

Yet rich blessings lay ahead of him. The Lord promised: “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. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

The Lord made good on his word. Abraham’s descendants grew into a great nation. Abraham came to be known as “the father of all believers.” And through Jesus Christ, Abraham’s greatest descendant, all people and nations are still blessed, for in him they have the forgiveness of sins.

Change will always be a fact of life on earth. But our greatest means to cope and thrive in the midst of change is the unchanging love of our changeless God. “I the LORD do not change,” he says in Malachi 3:6. Consequently, we can count on him to continue keeping his promises to all of us who are Abraham’s descendants by faith in Jesus.

As the Lord said to the nation of Israel when they finally took possession of the Promised Land hundreds of years later: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Prayer: Dear Lord, I see change and decay all around me. I look to you, the only one who does not change, as my source of help and comfort. Amen.

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Title: Abraham’s Journey from Ur to Canaan 1850

Artist: József Molnár