The 4th Day of Advent
1Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Abraham is where it all began. It was here, with the father of Israel, that Matthew began his genealogy. Abraham was born about 4,000 years ago in the already ancient Sumerian city of Ur. The world was a much different place in those days. This was long before the founding of the great cities of Europe: London, Paris, Berlin, or Rome. Even Athens would not be founded for another 1,000 years. The warring tribes of Europe were savage barbarians, barely out of the Stone Age. The most advanced European civilization of that time, the Minoans on the island of Crete, were still practicing human sacrifice.
Abraham’s hometown of Ur was a center of moon goddess worship. So it is not surprising that this was the religion of Abraham’s childhood. And it was the belief system of his father, Terah, until the day he died. Yet God chose Abraham to be His servant, the Father of all nations. He called him to abandon his idols, leave the land and heritage of his family, and follow where God was telling him to go.
The first thing that God said to Abram was, “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house…’” Abraham’s obedience was his first step on the path of faith, a path that ultimately led to a manager in Bethlehem.
Questions to Ponder
- God asked Abram to leave his people, family, and home land. Put yourself in his shoes; how do you think you would have responded to God’s call?
- Just like Abraham, our obedience has ripple effects– Has there been a time in your life where your obedience or disobedience has directly impacted others?