Pack Your Bags

Genesis 12: 1, 4 – 5

“Go from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.”

So Abram went away as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the people which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan.

We are still talking about getting in the game which is a metaphor for seeking God’s beautiful plan for our lives and following it. Yesterday we saw that Abraham’s (Abram) Father, Terah, began well but stopped short of God’s plan for him. It could well be that Terah was to be the Father of many nations. He headed towards Canaan but stopped in Haran. Unfortunately for Terah, the blessing was in Canaan, not Haran. He missed his boat.

In today’s passage we witness God telling Abram to pack up his family and belongings and head to Canaan. The difference between Abram and his father, Terah, is that Abram followed through.

This is actually the beginning of the blessing. Look at verses 2 and 3, “And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” It is through Abram’s execution of God’s plan that we enjoy the blessing today. All families of the earth are blessed because Abraham packed his bags and followed God’s plan for his life.

God was looking for someone to covenant with so that He could get the blessing to humanity and Abraham volunteered through obedience. Abraham is called the Father of Faith, and I don’t deny that, but it was obedience that made Abram into Abraham and brought the blessing to you and to me. It was obedience through which the covenant was able to be implemented.

Abraham understood that God had a good plan for him and he believed that God would make that promise into a fact. He believed God and followed the plan. Because of that he became the father of nations. Because he followed through on God’s plan, the entire world is blessed. I just want to remind you of Jeremiah 29: 11 to let you think about how God thinks about us and operates with us, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Amen!

Jew or Gentile

Isaiah 11: 10       NKJV

And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.

Did you think that the gentiles coming to Christ was a New Testament idea? Didn’t we all? Apparently, it was not. I really appreciate these consistent pieces of evidence that show that throughout the millennia God has not changed. He had a plan in the beginning before there ever even was an earth and that plan is being fulfilled right now. And, you are, and always were, a part of God’s master plan.  

God raised up a people to be His own but those people were supposed to be a lamp unto the world. The rest of us were supposed to see the majesty of God through their lives. Today, Christians are that lamp. Our lives are supposed to so shine that all people will seek the Christ. His name is a banner to all people saying, “Come. This is the way.” All people are called to Jesus. He is the banner that we lift up and glorify.

But God is the Father of all. There is no one, I mean no one, who is outside the family. That does not mean that everyone chooses to accept their position but it is, none the less, available to them. He had His eye on the Gentiles since the beginning of time so that they might come into the family and live with Him throughout eternity.

I like that because it is indicative of God’s great love for us all. He always meant to include all of humanity. God is love. If we can ever wrap our heads around that everything else will make sense. There was so much turmoil and debate over the Gentiles coming into “the church.” This was a really big issue in the days of Paul. Now we look back to the book of Isaiah and find that it was foretold long before. If the people complaining about the Gentiles had actually paid attention to their holy writings they would have known that this was always in God’s plan. Much conflict could have been avoided. This should inform us today as well. There is no one, no class of people, no segregated group, not even Muslims, left out of God’s plan. Everyone is welcome. Whether Jew or Gentile, all have the banner of his glorious name lifted up for them so that they may seek him and come into the family.