Genesis 12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and 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.9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
Abram, later known as Abraham, was a man who listened to God. His faith is evident in this reading from Genesis. At some point, Abram’s father, Terah, decided to move from Ur of the Chaldeans (Later known as Babylon) all the way west to the land of Canaan. Terah took with him his son Abram, Abram’s wife, Sarai (later known as Sarah), and his grandson, Lot, and headed out on the long journey to Canaan. However, when they arrived at the city of Harran, (modern day Turkey) they decided to stop and settle there. Perhaps they were just tired. Terah lived 205 years and died in Harran.
At the age of 75 the Lord called Abram to move from Harran south to the land of Canaan. Note the blessing God promised Abram: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and ll peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Contained in that blessing is the nascent promise of the Messiah, who, as Abraham’s descendent, would be a blessing to the entire world. “And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Abram had tremendous courage, accompanied by faith in God. Put yourself in Abram’s sandals. He was 75 years old. Sarai was as elderly. Yet God promised them descendants who would bless the entire earth! Could you trust God in that circumstance? In addition, God asked Abram to leave his home and relatives in Harran and head off to live in a new country, Canaan, which he had never seen before. And all at the age of 75! Abram had to trust in God to lead him, guide him, protect him, feed him and his flocks, and bring him to a good land where he would make his new home.
Abram followed God’s Call and believed his promises. His name was changed from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many nations). Sarai (princess) was changed to Sarah (mother of many nations). Abraham and Sarah finally conceived and had children at the age of 99! From their son, Isaac, and grandson, Jacob came the twelve tribes of Israel, and, finally, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. All of God’s promises came true for Abram. His faithfulness and courage resulted not only in his own blessing, but in blessings for the entire human race.
Lord God, Heavenly Father, give us faith and courage like Abraham to hear your voice and to follow your will always, no matter how difficult or inconvenient. By your Word in us, make us a blessing to the people around us. You proved yourself to Abram as a God who can do what seems humanly impossible. Help us never to doubt your power or your plan for the salvation of mankind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.