Abram, or Abraham as he will later be known, is such a tremendous Biblical character. The father of the world’s largest monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others, Abram is known throughout most of the modern world. If you have read the Bible, you know the story of Abraham, and it is an awesome one. However, Abraham’s story is not one of earth-changing miracles, parting seas, plagues, but rather, it is one of prophecy. A simple promise from God, and Abraham uproots his life, his family, and heads into an unknown land. The most captivating part of this narrative is the fact that Abraham does not seem to question, or have doubts about this decision. He just does it. Personally, I think we should take some time to examine what we might learn from Abraham’s decision, fortitude, and unshakeable certainty.
Then the LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your kindred, and your father’s household, and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”Genesis 12:1-3
This is the first recorded moment where God speaks to Abraham. Up until now, we are given a description of Abraham’s life with his father, wife, and nephew Lot and no indication that God had ever spoken to Abraham before this moment.
This moment in the Bible is either extremely vague or incredibly interesting. There is no mention of a vision, dream, angel, or anything to accompany the voice of God. Imagine what that moment must have been like, having God suddenly talk to you, without asking, without expecting, the creator of all things just starts speaking to you. How would you react? Wouldn’t you want some kind of evidence that you weren’t losing your grip on reality? Wouldn’t you at least ask God why He wanted you to move? Why He chose you? I feel like I would do those things, but not Abraham. His faith in his senses and sensibilities was solid. His faith in God is made evident from the very first moment the Bible speaks about him.
So Abram departed, as the LORD had directed him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and people they had acquired in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan.Genesis 12:4-5
So, here we see that Abraham just obeys. No questions, no delays, no bargaining, he just uproots his family and obeys. Think about how hard that must have been. Think about the tremendous level of faith that Abraham exhibits here. Is this something unique to Abraham’s personality, or is his reaction fairly natural for someone receiving divine instruction?
Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth. “Follow Me,” He told him, and Levi got up, left everything, and followed Him.Luke 5:27-28
Here we see that Levi does the same thing when Jesus speaks to him. He simply gets up, leaves everything behind, and begins following Jesus. Does the Lord take away his free will? Perhaps God forces Abraham to comply without question?
Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?Genesis 18:23
If God would force Abraham to comply without question one moment, why would He allow Abraham to argue with Him later on? I believe this is evidence that God does not directly control our actions, instead, through His grace, He allows us to maintain sovereignty over our own decisions.
Abraham was chosen by God to be the father of many nations for a specific reason. Abraham’s faith, eagerness to fulfill the will of God, determination, and other character attributes show us why he was chosen. This does not mean that Abraham lived a perfect life, it simply means that he portrays the attitude and attributes that we can use as a model for our own lives. When we find ourselves being called by God, we should drop everything and answer that call.