|Shechem was Abram’s first stop in Canaan as he followed God from Ur.|
Genesis began with God blessing all He created.
But the fall of man, Abel’s murder, the rebellion at Babel and the global flood gave cause to doubt that there would be any recovery of that blessing. Genesis 3–11 sketches more than 4,000 years of suffering that people experienced under the curse of sin.
But then God chose one man through whom He would resurrect His blessing for all mankind. God told this man, Abram, to leave his family, friends and everything else familiar to go “to the land which I will show you. . . . And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:1, 3). This promise ultimately found its fulfillment in Abram’s descendant, Jesus Christ (see Matt. 1:1).
It staggers the mind that the hope of the world would come from God’s promise to an elderly idol worshiper who, along with his wife, was well past childbearing years. In choosing Abram, God demonstrated grace. And in choosing to follow, Abram demonstrated faith.
Abram left Ur, a city with tremendous advantages. The move represented an incredible act of faith for Abram—especially for someone with no material needs. He forsook everything familiar to him to follow God into the unknown. And after he arrived in Canaan, he dwelt in a tent and struggled through famines in a barren land. It took faith for Abram to follow God—not just at the beginning, but every day.
God doesn’t always lead by promotion. Neither does He seek our approval before He tells us to move on. In His grace, God chose Abram, who then responded in faith—and followed the Lord.
The God of Abraham calls us to the same response today.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2006), page 27. Shechem photo courtesy of BiblePlaces.com. Faith photo from Bronze Magazine.