Thursday, September 08, 2016

Land of Canaan

So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
Genesis 12:4-9, NKJV

Land of Canaan

As we read through these verses from the 12th chapter of Genesis, we realize that there is a lot that is left unsaid. Even so, we get a good picture of the man, Abram. God has called Abram, who is now 75 years old, out of his homeland of Haran. How did Abram respond? From the perspective of these verses, it appears as though Abram, without questioning God, immediately obeyed him.

It really is somewhat surprising that Abram did not question God. After all, he had lived quite comfortably for 75 years in his homeland. Yet, when God called him to leave, Abram obeyed without question.

As Abram entered the land of Canaan, God appeared to him with these words. "To your descendants I will give this land." Abram responded by building an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. No longer would Abram worship the gods of his childhood for God Almighty was now his God!

Just a few verses record this whole transaction and yet this conversation is the basis for the nation of Israel today claiming the land as their own. Given to them by God, Himself, in this conversation with Abram, they claim the right, as Abram's descendants, to this land.

While we do not have the benefit that Abram did of having a personal conversation with God, yet this question is still relevant: How do we respond to God's leading in our own lives? We have something Abram did not have. We have the completed Word of God, the Bible. In it we not only learn of the history of God's people, we learn who God is and what He expects of His people.

We also understand through the New Testament that the Lord Jesus Christ was not just a great man who came to this earth. He was and is God. Coming to this earth in obedience to the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ purchased salvation for His children. Though we may not be physical descendants of Abram, yet by right of adoption, we recognize these promises as being to us as well!

As we read God's Word, how do we respond? Do we, like Abram, follow God's leading without question? Do we spend our lives, no matter what our vocation may be, in service to Him? Each of us is called to live for Christ wherever He has put us. It is not the intent of God that we should immerse ourselves in the values and goals of this world. Rather, we are here to be a testimony for Christ. How well are we doing?

It is good to study the lives of the patriarchs found in Genesis. Like us, we find a mixture of personalities and a mixture of faithful and unfaithful service to God. In reading these accounts, we learn of God's great forgiveness and of His great working in and among His people. As we learn to put all of our trust in God, we will find Him to be faithful to the end of our days and even into all eternity.

May God lead us and guide us this day, and may He find each of us living our lives, as His children, in complete obedience to Him.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,

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