Bible stories of hope: Abraham - by James Archer
Bible stories of hope is a series comprising a reading about someone's encounter with God, some notes about how they may have seen it, and a prayer.
Reading – Genesis 12:1-7
The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation and I will bless you. I will make you famous and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and I will place a curse on those who harm you. And all the people on earth will be blessed through you.”
So Abram left Haran as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. At this time Abram was 75 years old. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot and everything they owned, as well as all the servants they had gained in Haran. They set out from Haran, planning to go to the land of Canaan, and in time they arrived there.
Abram travelled through that land as far as the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. The Canaanites were living in the land at that time. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” So Abram built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
This is where it all starts – Abram (later known as Abraham), the ancestor of Jews, Christians and Muslims. A man with no scriptures to guide him, no tradition of worshipping the one true God, nothing to mark him out as specially deserving. Just another nomadic headman on the fringes of the Arabian desert.
And yet God chose him, apparently out of the blue – chose to confide in him, to have a special relationship with him, to be a channel of blessing to the whole world.
Doesn’t that give you hope? That you don’t have to be a star, a bishop or a bible scholar to be special to God. If you read through the whole story of Abraham in Genesis, you’ll find that he made plenty of mistakes, that his family life was pretty fraught, that he followed all sorts of customs of the day that got him into trouble.
But the abiding theme of his story is his relationship with God, a faith that God knows best and is in charge. His epitaph, picked out thousands of years later by St Paul: “Abraham believed God” (Romans 4:3). Wow! Wouldn’t you want that as your reputation throughout history?
Do you want a special relationship with the Living God? Do you want to be a channel of God’s blessing to all those around you? Then follow in the feet of Abraham, the man of faith.
Lord, give me like Abraham the ear to hear your voice, the feet to obey you and the heart to worship you, so that I might be a blessing to all around me. Amen
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