“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you…” – Genesis 12:2
Abraham’s Calling: Fulfilled Promises
‘The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’ (Genesis 12:1)
Wow. What a thing to ask someone to do. If asked, would you up and leave your family, home and life behind you to set off to an unknown land? There are so many implications to consider first. If someone on this earth asked you to do this, of course the answer would undoubtedly be a resounding ‘no’. But it wasn’t a human asking – it was God.
When God asks, there are no implications to consider. They are taken care of.
We then find out that (in bible years) Abraham was 75 years old! By this time, one would imagine that he was settled and familiar with his life and routine, in a place he knew, and had no plans to move and start again. Was God really asking him to swap his calm, stable life for an unstable, turbulent mission? Not exactly, because:
God is more stable than any other stability you create for yourself in your life.
“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.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
God promises to Abraham these three things. He also promises “To your offspring I will give this land.” (Genesis 12:7). These have become known as the Abrahamic promises. It is what Abraham’s faith is built upon – the fact he knew about and believed in God’s promises. If you haven’t already, find out what God has promised to you in His Word. How is it possible to rely on God’s promises if you don’t know what they are? These promises show in another way how different a call from God is than that from an earthly being.
When God promises something, he will always keep his promise. You only need to look at a rainbow in the sky to remember God’s promise after the flood. Abraham had his own way of remembering God’s promises. He made altars to symbolise God’s promise of land for his descendants. This way, whenever anyone worships God at the altar they remember the promises God made to Abraham. I read about someone who made a note in a journal, left a sticky note somewhere or kept a particular object when they promised something to God, or when God promised something to them. As humans who have the knack of forgetting things, I think these reminders are a wonderful idea.
The promise in verse 3 is extraordinary as it was fulfilled before our eyes. Many years before Jesus was born God promised Abraham that those descending from his will be blessed. That promise was ultimately kept in the birth of Jesus. If you look at the genealogy in Matthew 1 (https://thebloggeronthemount.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/the-skeletons-in-the-genealogical-closet/) the name at the beginning of the ancestry of Jesus is indeed Abraham. Everyone on earth is therefore blessed through Abraham because it is through his descendants that Jesus came into the world, and everyone is indeed blessed by Jesus.
The passage in which Abraham is called ends: ‘Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.’ Since he was sent on his journey, he has had no place to rest. Unlike his previous settled life, he has had no opportunity to even stop, let alone make a home elsewhere. Even though God has delivered him to the place in which his descendants will live, it is not yet his. But God has promised Abraham this land and His blessings. After his calling, it leaves us waiting to discover how he continues on his journey through faith.
This journey is at the heart of our mission as Christians still going on today.
This is what calling is. There are no considerations or implications. It is what you know God wants you to do. If ever in doubt, remember God’s call to Abraham and trust in the promises He fulfilled.