August 07, 2006

A Conversation With a Promise

Genesis 12:1-8

"Leave your country ... and go to the land I will show you." Genesis 12:1


When God begins a renewal project, what do we expect? Trumpets sounding? Thunder and lighting? In our reading for today, God turns to an unlikely couple whom he asks simply to obey and follow.

Apparently without fanfare or special effects, God comes to Abram and says, "Leave your country, friends, and family, and I will provide for you. I will make you into a great nation. I will make your name great, and I will bless you." To these promises, Abram listens. To have a conversation with God always involves listening.

People in Abram's hometown were probably confused: "Why would Abram leave all this?" They may also have doubted: "He doesn't even know where his God is leading!" But instead of asking God for a detailed map, Abram packs up his possessions and household and begins the journey of a lifetime.

Will there be trouble? Yes. Will there be doubt? Yes. Will there be moments Abram will want to forget? Yes. But there will also be uplifting times that remind him of God's promises. Though Abraham found that other people also lived in the land, God promised, "To your offspring I will give this land."

Abram was not a nomad. He became a pilgrim, knowing that God's promises came alive in his journey with God. That's why he went; he was seeking God.

God of promises, help us to be willing to follow you wherever you call us. Help us listen and not be satisfied in our comfortable places, but ready to seek you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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