12 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Abram, later renamed to Abraham, was called out of his comfort zone. He was called into a land that would be shown to him. He did not even know where he was going. Abraham wandered around year after year and lived in tents. He never actually settled down anywhere. Neither did Isaac. Jacob moved to Egypt when he was very old. Egypt, however, was not the Promised Land.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not receive the promises. They were looking for something greater. Abraham lived to be 175 years. That means he wandered around in a strange land for 100 years without receiving the Promised Land. He was called out of one of the largest metropolitan areas of the time. He was called out of everything he knew. He was called “out of the world” as he knew it. He put his complete faith and confidence in God and moved forward.
As Christians, we are called out of this world (Jn 15:19). We are expected to be different. We are to be lights in a dark world.
Do you know where you are going in this life? Do you know your final destination? Abraham did not until God revealed it to him after many years. However, by that time, his eye wasn’t on where he was going in this life, but where he would wind up in the next. We will all stand before God and give an accounting at some point. Have we saved up treasures on earth that will be burned up along with it someday, or have we stored up eternal treasures?
The story of Abraham gives clarity to Jesus’ instructions to not be anxious for anything (Mt 6:25-34).
When God brought Israel out of the land of Egypt, He didn’t take them the straight way to the Promised Land (Ex 13:17). Did they get the feeling they were just going in circles? All of the grumbling certainly indicates to me that they had no real sense of how or when they would get to their destination. It is a warning as well that too much grumbling tests God’s patience and ultimately leads to disobedience on our part. Furthermore, they lacked the faith that Moses had for God to lead them where He promised to take them. They lacked the faith of Abraham.
What situation are you going through? Unemployment? Death or separation from a loved one? Severe financial distress? Are you fighting an addiction? Do you sometimes feel like you are going in circles and not getting anywhere? Follow Abraham’s example and leave your own comfort zone, your own Ur of the Chaldees, and step out in faith. Remember that our final reward is not in this life, and this truth will free you to store up eternal treasures that God, as our Father, freely blesses us with.