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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018.01.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 12:1-9

Questions for Littles: Who spoke to Abram in v1? What did He tell him to get out of? From whom did He tell him to go? To where did He tell him to go? What did God promise to make Abram into (2a)? What else did He promise to do (2b)? What did He promise to make great (2c)? What (whom!) did God promise to make a blessing? Whom did God promise to bless (3a)? Whom did God promise to curse (3b)? How many families of the earth would be blessed in Abram (3c)? How did Abram depart (4a)? Who went with him (4b)? How old was Abram when he departed from Haran (4c)? Whom did Abram take (5a)? What did Abram take (5b)? Where did they go? To what place did Abram pass through (6a)? How far did he go (6b)? Who were in the land (6b)? Who appeared to Abram (7a)? To whom did He promise to give the land (7b)? What did Abram build there? To whom? Where did Abram move from there (8a)? Where did he pitch his tent (8b)? What did he build there (8c)? What did he use the altar to do (8d)? What did he continue to do in the same manner (9a)? In what direction (9b)? 
In this week’s Old Testament reading, we come to what many refer to as “the call of Abram.” Abram and his family were still in Haran, where Terah’s journey toward Canaan had come to a permanent end. After Terah dies, Yahweh speaks to Abram, explaining to him why this wasn’t far enough.

Haran was still close enough to be considered his country. There were extended family still there. This was not a place of godliness (cf. Josh 24:2). This was not a place of faith. Abram’s was to be a life of faith that rested upon great promises.

Where does God call Abram to go? “a land that I will show you.” That’s a faith requirement isn’t it? Let a husband propose that family move to his wife. Husband: “honey, we’re moving.” Wife: “really, to where, dear?” Husband: “a land that I will show you.” Wife: “you know that’s not an actual name of a place, don’t you, dear?”

Perhaps Abram and Sarai had just such a conversation. The command comes with little in terms of immediate details about Abram’s new life, but with big promises. God basically promises to identify Himself with Abram now—taking personally whatever others do to Abram, and placing Abram and his family right at the center of His saving plans in the world.

Faith believes the promises. Faith doesn’t demand details. Faith does “just as Yahweh has spoken” (v4). Faith also does something else…

Faith worships. Abram gets to Shechem, where he finds out that it will actually be his descendants that receive the land and not he himself. And Abram worships. Abram goes east of Bethel. And worships.

He built no house. He built no city. He built altars to call upon the name of Yahweh. Priorities. First things first. Faith believes and obeys. And faith worships!
How can you tell that worship is the most important part of your life?
Suggested songs: ARP189 “Universal Praise” or HB26 “O Worship the King All Glorious Above”

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