Prepare to Listen. In stillness be attentive to Jesus. Pray: You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Prayerfully Read Genesis 12:1-4a
Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 4So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
When God first approached this ancient couple, they were known as Abram and Sarai. Later God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah, reflecting the nature of their calling and the blessing God bestowed on them. (See Genesis 17:5, 15). I use both versions of their names in this devotion.
God’s salvation story, the story we’re a part of, begins with this challenging call to Abram and Sarai—go from your country and your family “to a land I will show you.” God’s grand purpose was to create, through Abraham’s family, “the means by which the problem of the human race would be resolved,” as N. T. Wright puts it. I doubt Abram fully grasped this. We don’t even know how he felt or what he thought about God’s call and the incredible promises God made to him. All we know is this: “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” He had no experience of God’s leading; no stories about others who trusted God and found him faithful. He and Sarai were out there discovering God for themselves, for the first time.
Thanks to them, we now have a wealth of stories of people who experienced God and lived to tell the tale. The journey from Abram and Sarai’s story to ours today has been long and fraught with rough terrain. But, we now belong to those families scattered around the globe who have been blessed (received God’s salvation) because Abraham and Sarah took the risk. They lived a radical trusting obedience in a God they knew so little about.
Put yourself in Abram or Sarai’s shoes and imagine what it cost them to leave country and family for the unknown. They were people like us, willing to risk all in a radical obedience to the God who called. What keeps you from taking your own leap of faith, of trusting obedience?
Respond to Jesus
God of Abraham and Sarah, I admire the faithful obedience of these two servants of yours and desire to copy them, but so much holds me back. As I journey through this Lent and prepare to once again re-member and celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus, lead me to a deeper faith and more willing obedience. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
Go live obediently in the world by taking risks of trust in Jesus.
Because I believe that Scripture is food for our soul (our entire being) I seek to read it and encourage others to read it in ways that nourish and transform our beings. I invite you to read the Bible with me during Lent and into Easter. I am a Bible teacher, spiritual companion and retreat director. I know the Bile and how to read it for spiritual formation.