Hey! It’s… it’s… hay!
Saturday, 9 April 2022
and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’ Acts 7:3
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
The previous verse revealed that God had appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia, even before he dwelt in Haran. Continuing that thought, and still speaking of God, it next says, “and said to him.”
The Lord has a purpose for Abraham. As such, He sovereignly entered into his life and spoke to him in order for His will to come about within the stream of human existence. Note that this is a communication to Abraham, and not some type of overwhelming impulse. It doesn’t say, “God appeared to Abraham and impelled him to do such and so.” Instead, He speaks to him. With that understood, it next says, “Get out of your country.”
The Lord is now directing the steps of Abraham, calling him out of Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia. There is no indication concerning how long his family had lived there, but it was not a short span as can be determined from the next words, “and from your relatives.”
Abraham’s family had moved to Ur at some point in time, and they had become established there long enough to grow into an extended family of relatives. This is certain because when he left, he took along his immediate family, leaving other relatives behind. Because of this, it wasn’t just a temporary home that a traveling Bedouin might pick up and move from. Rather, it was a place of family, memories, and roots. But the Lord directed him, and he responded after hearing the words, “and come to a land that I will show you.”
The same Greek word was used in the previous clause as in this clause. It should be translated as such –
Get out of your land and from your relatives
And come to a land that I will show you.
The land in which Abraham lived was known, it had family, it was what he knew. On the other hand, the land to which the Lord directed him was unknown, it had no family, and he had no idea what awaited him. But it was known to the Lord. Abraham, hearing the call of the Lord, now had a choice to make. Although it may seem obvious to us now that he would say, “Well, God has spoken and so I must do as He instructs.” But that is not the case at all, is it?
Life application: The Lord appeared to Abraham and told him to pick up and move on. Even if it was only one generation that he lived in Ur, the fact is that it was his home. He had family there, and it was his land. Would he be obedient to the Lord’s direction? We can say, “Well, what did he have to lose, and how much he had to gain!”
But this is all because of our knowledge of the story and how it plays out. He had no idea at all what lay ahead, and we have no idea at all what he was leaving behind. All we have is the fact that the Lord has spoken and that Abraham, as we now know, did as the Lord said. Again, as noted above, we might think, “Of course, he went. God told him to do so, and he would be a fool to not do so!”
But then, we would probably be pointing at ourselves, right? We say that we believe in Jesus. We claim that He is the Lord, and we are His people. If that is so, then we are claiming that we have a knowledge of who He is and that if He speaks to us, we will do just as he has said. But wait… He has “said.” His word is what we call the Bible. It is the only source of who Jesus is. We have used information from that source to say that we believe He is the Lord and that He is our Savior.
So, what is the difference? The difference is great! Abraham did not have the story as we do. He did not know the end from the beginning. He did not know what would happen along the way or what it would be like when he got there. And yet, Abraham obeyed.
We do have the story, from the beginning (Genesis 1:1) to the end (Revelation 22:21). We know the major plan of what will happen along the way, because the Bible has laid it out. And we know just what the land we are heading to will be like, because its marvelous description is given in Revelation. And yet, we – unlike Abraham – do not simply hear and obey.
In fact, quite often, we don’t hear at all because we don’t listen. How can we hear unless we read what He has spoken out for us? And in the times when we do hear, we often still fail to do as instructed. How great was the faith of Abraham! How failing and weak is our faith! Let us be people of faith. Let us be obedient to the word. May the Lord find us faithful to comply. May it be so, to our benefit and to His glory.
Heavenly Father, we have Your precious word. It is not overburdensome at all. Instead, it is a guide for us to use as we head to the fairer land which You have promised us. Help us to see this, and to be obedient to Your will and Your word as we take our steps along this journey of life. Yes, help us in this Lord God. Amen.