“Do you think we’ll ever get to Canaan, Uncle Abram?” Lot looked from the full moon to Abram.
“I have a feeling your grandfather has found his place here, Lot. Why else would he name it after your father?”
“It’s as good a place as any, I suppose.” Lot walked back to his tent.
Abram appreciated the solitude as he studied the craters on the moon.
A voice interrupted his thoughts. “Move away from your father to a place I will give you. I will turn you into a great nation. Anyone who blesses you shall be blessed in return. He who curses you shall be cursed as well. All nations will be blessed through you.”
Abram looked around. Nobody else was out of their tent. The hairs on his neck stood as he recognized the only source for that message. He paced as he began to make plans for such a move.
Abram walked to the top of the hill near where they set up camp south of Shechem. The view was magnificent with mountains, trees and rivers.
A hand grasped his shoulder. The unfamiliar face held a recognition.
The man swept his free hand in front of Abram. “This is the land your descendants will dwell in.”
Abram looked eastward and smiled. When he turned to talk to the man, He was gone.
Abram gathered stones and stacked them into an altar to commemorate the event.
After they returned from Egypt Abram stood with Lot on another hill. He waved his arm in a semi-circle. “The entire region lays before you now. Choose where you want to live. We’re too many to stay together now.”
Lot stared at the green Jordan River Valley. “I’ll move my flocks that way. They should thrive there.”
Abram smiled. “Very well, then. I shall move westward. Remember the Lord goes before us.”
Abram watched Lot’s people leave with their animals. He turned and surveyed his own herds and thought about how well he’d done since moving here.
A familiar voice spoke. “Look to the north, south, east and west. I’m giving all this to you and your descendants, which shall be as numerous as the dust of the earth, if such can be numbered. Walk in the land as you please. It’s yours.”
The land, the Promised Land of what would become Israel, was beautiful. Agriculture was there from the residents who lived there already. Grapes, almonds and olives grew well in this terrain.
Coming from the river plains the hills must have been breath-taking to Abram.
What must he have thought when God told him it was his?
How do you trust a voice that repeats the same thing to you?
Dare you believe the mention of descendants when you have no children?
Abram was wealthy by economic standards. He had servants to tend his flocks. His flocks were increasing. He had enough servants that he trained some of them to fight. He even gained a measure of wealth from his near-fiasco in Egypt.
How hollow did it all feel with no children?
What good is all this stuff when there’s nobody to hand it down to?
Did he ever want to trade it all for a son?
What kind of god was talking to him anyway? It must have driven Abram insane at times. I know it would have done that to me.
Hope and faith and obedience are tightly woven together in life. At least they should be.
God is just as mysterious today as He was in Abram’s day. He doesn’t speak audibly very often now. The Bible is His main means of communicating to us.
How many promises have you claimed just to have them unmet?
How many prayers have you prayed with no results?
How many questions go unanswered from your time spent in the Bible?
Do you find your hope failing?
Is your faith lacking substance?
Will you continue to obey God anyway?
Everyone walks an individual path in life. Some couples stay together even though there’s a level of abuse occurring. Another couple splits even though both are serving God in some capacity.
One family rarely takes their kids to the doctor while another know the halls of a hospital better than their own home.
I don’t have the answer to your question, “Why?” All I can guarantee you is that God is in the midst of it all.
He loves each one of us immensely. He’s a Father who promises to never leave us nor forsake us.
Your successes are building your character as much as your pain does.
Your disappointments are shaping your resolve to continue in spite of the odds.
Your obedience is heaping up rewards in heaven that will make this life seem so insignificant in time.
Now that we know all of Abram’s story we can see how it all fits together. He didn’t have that perspective then. He just took one step at a time like we all have to do.
The promises weren’t met in his lifetime. Yours might not be either.
We cluck our tongues at some of his decisions. If we could see our life from a distant perspective we’d do the same thing in our own mirror.
He would later pass an extreme test by God, but now all he had were promises and the decision to obey, or not.
That’s where you are now. Isn’t it?
To obey God is often counter-cultural, but it’s best.
To trust this invisible being is crazy, but it’s sensible.
To hope this all turns out right in the end makes no sense at times, but we must.
Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would just bow to him. Jesus didn’t deny Satan had that authority. He simply knew the best decision to make because He knows the final outcome is secure.
Take you eyes off the world around you now.
Focus on what’s in store for you in the kingdom to come.
I’ll see you later. Wade