google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Highlights in Hebrews 30
Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)

Part 30 - Hebrews 11:8-19 The obedience of Abraham


The obedience of Abraham It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. Hebrews 11:8-19 (NLT)

A few daft people (like my wife and I used to) love to go trekking and sleep on the ground in a small mountain tent. But that is not most people’s idea of an enjoyable way to spend their holidays. The amazing thing about Abraham is that he not only set out on a long trek, sleeping in tents himself but also persuaded all his family, including his father, to do so. It was, of course, the senior male who was expected to decide what should happen. It seems that Abraham was such a strong and forceful character that he was able to determine what happened. It was a quite remarkable thing to do.

They lived in Ur, one of the greatest and best cities of the ancient world, where they would enjoy all the luxuries that were going. In some way, that is not explained, the Lord spoke to Abraham and instructed him to set out with his whole family on a journey to somewhere - he wasn’t told where. They journeyed north, then west, then south round what is known as the fertile crescent, a great arc of land round the deserts to the south. It proved too much for his father Terah, who gave up halfway and settled in the city of Haran. We can only imagine the big arguments that there must have been between Abraham who had received the direct instructions from the Lord about what they were to do and Terah, who hadn’t. Abraham will have been stuck there until his father died and he had complete control of the family.

It was probably in Haran, when the family was stuck there that he received his great commission from the Lord. He, and his descendants, were given the task of bringing blessing to all the world (Genesis 12: 1 – 3). So much had gone wrong. Adam and Eve had disobeyed the Lord, one of their sons had killed the other, the world had become such an evil place the flood was sent to sort it out and finally the tower of Babel had indicated the arrogance and conceit of mankind. To bring blessing to all that sort of thing was an immense task. In fact Abraham and his descendants, the people of Israel failed. Only when Jesus came as the ideal Israelite was any progress possible. But Abraham was not to know that. His job was simply to obey - as he did. We will probably never get as clear and startling a call as Abraham. Which, you may think, is just as well given how comparatively weak I am! But don’t get too comfortable. My wife and I were into our 50s before we got a call to go to Pakistan. We didn’t hear a voice, but received such an amazing sequence of events that it was quite clear what we were being asked - or was it told - to do. We did not realise that the best years of our lives were in front of us. Abraham can scarcely have enjoyed the call he received as much as we did ours.
If the Lord calls you to some surprising and unexpected venture - do not hesitate, GO

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