A Friendship to Celebrate
The Great Adventure Prelude Part 2.
Today we have softened the term of Friend, expanding its meaning to include a great many more than we would’ve a couple years ago. I mean thanks to Facebook, we can grow a never end list of friends. But are they really friends? I think if we were honest, we’d say no. Perhaps there are a few close relationships that might qualify, but for the most part, friends they are not.
But here we see Abraham, a friend of God. What makes one a friend of God? What is it in a persons life that qualifies one to be a friend of God? I mean, wouldn’t you like to be honored with the title… My Friend? I know I would.
Abraham’s story begins in Genesis 12. It’s an adventure that spans 100 years, across the vast stretch of land that eventually becomes known as the Promised Land, the land that the Hebrews inherit from God. Abraham was a nomad. He traveled and lived, lived and traveled.
Now, I’m a guy who believes that God has a purpose and plan for everyone and in chapter 12, God’s purpose for Abraham’s life begins to unfold, and so too this unique friendship and the reason that we have to celebrate.
Let’s turn to Genesis 12 and take look at verses 1 through 5.
The Call of Abram
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go 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 left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Before Abraham was Abraham, he was Abram, and until now, Abram’s life is mostly unknown. We don’t know what his relationship with God was or is, nor do we know a whole lot about Abram or his family. What we do know comes from chapter 11. Abram is the son of Terah and a descendant of Shem, one of Noah’s son’s.
Some assume that because Abram is from the line of Shem, that his family were worshipers of the one true God. But at the time, many who lived were polytheistic, meaning that they worshiped many gods. As for who Abram worshiped, the bible doesn’t say.
For all of us, our great adventure begins with a call. I’m not talking about a cell for phone call, I’m talking about when God speaks into your life and asks you to trust him. For me my call came when I was 16 years old. In a very special moment in my life, I felt the call of God. While on a mission trip, I felt that God was calling me to serve him in full time ministry. Twenty some year later, here we are.
But for Abram, his call came at the age of 75. Well along in years already, having gathered a number of servants and herds, and yet childless. But God has a plan and a purpose for Abram, and what we read in chapter 12 begins for Abram, what we’re going to call the Great Adventure.
Let’s look again at what we just read.
Genesis 12:1, is the start of this call for Abram. God says to Abram, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I show you.”
Now wives, how many of you, if your husband were to come home one afternoon say, “Hunny, I just had a great chat with God today at lunch, and he said that he wants me to get you and the family, and we are going to leave this place.”
First question you ask… “What?”
“Yep, we’re leaving. Start packing, because we’re heading out…”
“Wait a minute… Where are we going?”
“I don’t know…”
“You don’t know?”
“Nope. But God will show us. We just have to go.”
Sounds a bit sketchy, right. It’s against everything that we might feel and believe in our beings. I mean, who simply get’s up and goes to a place they don’t know?
Sometimes God calls us to do the same thing. Sometimes, God’s call goes against every bit of logic that says, it’s good here. We have a good thing going. It might not be my dream job. Maybe some things haven’t quite worked out the way I thought, but it’s okay. We’re doing alright. We’re happy, I guess. But thats the voice of one who has settled. Its the voice that says, Canaan was your goal, but Haran, well it’s nice here, I guess we could just settle in and live here.
Abram’s family had settled. The destination when Terah left Ur of the Chaldeans was the land of Canaan. However, the settled instead in an area known as Haran. They were on their way to Canaan, but instead stopped in Haran making it their home. It was now their land. They stopped their travel, built their houses, and made Haran, home.
But God said, ‘I want you to leave.’
We see three things come with Abrams call. The three things we see we’ll talk about tomorrow. Be sure to join us as we continue, the Great Adventure, To Be Come A Friend of God.