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.
“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 all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
So Abram left, as the LORD had told him...
Here is the beginning of God's work to set aside a people for Himself through whom He will save mankind from their sin. He chooses one man. But He doesn't choose someone who is especially righteous (like Noah was) or someone who is especially regal (like Saul was). He chooses Abram. A man 75 years of age, who had no children, and who was apparently unremarkable in any significant way for the Bible mentions nothing remarkable about him. In fact, the only thing that makes him remarkable is that God calls him. Surely it is the same with us. Paul says "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." You may not be special in any significant way in the eyes of our world, but God has chosen to use ordinary people just like you.
God's call requires something of Abram though. He is told to leave his country, his people and his father's household. He is to set out on a journey for a land that God will show him along the way. In fact, it seems that God is asking rather quite a lot of Abram. This is true of God's call to us as Christians as well. Those He calls are expected to leave their old way of life behind. They are to put off sin and step out on faith beginning their journey with Him. Yet people then and now are willing to pay that price because of the great blessings that accompany God's call.
God promises Abram that he will be blessed if he obeys. In fact, Abram is told that he will be made into a great nation and that his name will be great. All the peoples of the earth will be blessed through Abram... if he obeys. Abram counted the cost and decided it was worth it. But there are far greater blessings for us today. Believers in Jesus Christ are promised not abundance on earth but abundance in heaven. Our name may not be great here, but it will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life. We may not be given a great inheritance of land here, but we will be made co-heirs with Christ of all that our Heavenly Father owns. All of creation is our inheritance.
If you hear the call of God on your life today, count the cost. You will find that what you are expected to give up is worth far less than what you will gain. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
For further reading:
- I Corinthians 1:26-31: Not many of you were rich.
- I Peter 1:13-25: Be holy.
- John 15:18-20 & John 17:14-16: You are not of this world.