Father of the Covenant - 3 June 2021
By Ben Fourie
- Genesis 12:1-4
The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations.” When Abram was 75 years old, he started out from Haran, as the LORD had told him to do; and Lot went with him.
Abram (exalted father), or Abraham (father of a multitude) as he was called later, is the patriarch of three of the largest religions in the world, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abram and his family lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. The latter was a nomadic tribe that invaded Babylonia from the desert and eventually ruled in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, for instance, was a Chaldean.
Abram moved from Ur to Haran with his family. According to the verse above, it seems as though Abram was called by God while living in Haran, while in Genesis 15 and the Acts of the Apostles chapter 7, he received his calling while still living in Ur. What matters is that God called him from his familiar surroundings to go and live in Canaan.
Interestingly, the name Canaan is derived from the grandson of Noah with that name and might refer to a reddish kind of dye that was used to dye wool. In Canaan, God wanted to make him the father of the people of the Covenant, a people to worship the only true God. Abram did not hesitate for a moment. He took his whole family to Canaan to do what the Lord required.
He was already 75 years old, but he trusted God to make good on all the promises. His life was to take quite a few turns. First, a sojourn in Egypt, a meeting with Melchizedek, pleading for Sodom and finally, the birth of Ishmael before all the promises were fulfilled.
The Lord’s way with people really renders one speechless. Ur was the centre of worship to the moon god. We will never know how Abram and his family got to know the true God amidst this idol worship. What we do know is that God called him from there with a purpose. From his descendants, the Messiah was to be born.
God sometimes also takes us on a long journey before He reaches His goal with us. Although, we will not become patriarchs, God wants to use every one of us for something special in his kingdom. We can depend on that.
Prayer: Although I do not know what purpose you have for me every day, I still want to thank you that you have called me from darkness into your beautiful light. Amen