Today's Reading: Genesis 11:27-12:9
Faith. That's all I see when I read these verses.
Here's Abram. A Chaldean. Who might have known something about God, but more than likely knew virtually nothing. He was raised in the a family and a land that is better known for being one of the many enemies of Israel, than they are for worshipping the God who revealed himself in the Bible. He's just sitting around, minding his own business, when one day out of nowhere, a voice speaks to him and tells him to leave everything behind and go somewhere else. The real kicker is that this voice didn't even have the decency to tell Abram where he was going! It just said to pack everything up, leave your family and home and everything you known, and start walking. At some point, the voice will tell him when to stop.
This is one of those crazy stories of faith that makes ordinary Christians shake. "Oh, please, God! Don't ever do this to me! Don't ever call me to go and do something like Abram!" I think the closest I've ever come to having an "Abram experience" was when I felt certain that I was being called to attend a seminary in MI, which meant leaving the west coast where all our family, friends, and everything we've ever knows were. Honestly, I feel pretty small even considering that a comparison. At least I knew God...Abram doesn't even have that going for him!
This text has often been referred to as the Great Commission of the OT. In other words, when God promises to make Abram a blessing to the nations and that all nations will be blessed through him, he's showing that despite the whole nation of Israel thing, God's plan for redemption and restoration includes every human being, not just a select few. This is a pivotal moment in the story of Scripture: God's no longer simply making promises of salvation; he's now rolling up his sleeves, looking at his advisors, and calmly saying, "Shall we begin?" It's time to get to work. And all this "work" seems to rest on the shoulders of a no-name Chaldean named Abram and his barren wife, Sarai.
God does crazy things sometimes. He does things in ways that make absolutely no logical sense. He uses the most unlikely peopled and he performs some of his greatest acts of salvation. Faith. We might want to hold Abram up and say, "Ya, but he was special." But not really. Abram was no different from any of us. He was just bold enough to say, "Okay. Let's do this. I believe."