Day 7

The Call of Abram

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 12:1-20, Genesis 13:1-4, Matthew 1:1-2

Faith is risky and risks are hard. It’s tough stepping out into the unknown to follow what you believe God is calling you to do.

Two years ago I lived in the suburbs of Chicago and had a decent job, when an opportunity came along for a different position in a different state that seemed like a better fit for the coming years. So I prayed, and I thought, and my wife and I followed (that’s what faith looks like most of the time) —all the way down I-65 through two intervening states to the strange and foreign southern land of Nashville. It was scary. Exhilarating and hopeful, but scary.

Abram received a much clearer and much more frightening call than I did when God told him to move from his home in Ur to some place called Canaan, away from his family ties and all that was familiar. God called him to the unknown but blessed Abram on his way, even telling Abram he would be a blessing to all nations. So Abram followed with his wife and livestock and servants. He acted in faith (Genesis 12).

Sometimes the risk of faith looks to be too much, especially when we face challenges. We realize we’re walking in the dark, that we’re in an unknown place. Yes, we followed God’s leading to get here, but what now?

Abram felt that too. There he was in Canaan, trying to make a go of things, when famine hit. For a nomadic herdsman, that was deadly. He could lose everything, even his life. What was he to do? God called him to this place, but now this? So Abram left the land God led him to and fled to Egypt, where he promptly lied about the identity of his wife to protect himself—though in the process he put her at great risk.

This is the kind of thing we do when we lose sight of the One leading us, when we forget the prompting that got us to where we are. When we forget the promise and the call, we go our own way and we inevitably fall. We stumble in the dark. We make rash decisions.

Abram’s waffling and stumbling isn’t remarkable; it’s completely normal. What’s remarkable is God’s faithfulness. God called a man to a faraway place, blessed him not just on his journey but for all time, protected him in spite of his failings, and established him in that blessing. Abram later became Abraham, and through Abraham all the nations of the world have been blessed because from Abraham came Jesus Christ, the true and living blessing (Matthew 1:1-2).

Abram isn’t so much our example of action as he is our example of hope. Is there a step of faith you need to take? Have you taken a step and fallen? Take hope; the blessing that God gave Abram is a promise we can trust no matter the risk or the stumble.

written by Barnabas Piper

Post Comments (25)

25 thoughts on "The Call of Abram"

  1. Jared Dills says:

    Lord, regardless of the past, help me to follow you today.

  2. Jared Dills says:

    He has great plans for our life. Even when we have missteps, God can still use us.

  3. Jared Dills says:

    We are quick to make bad decisions when things don’t go our way.

  4. Howard K says:

    God is always there for me even when I feel uncomfortable about decision I am not sure about. I play things to safe and need to depend that God is there as long as I have faith and believe. God showed His commitment to Abram and I should trust that God will do the same for me

  5. Howard K says:

    God will never fail us. He has proven that to us by giving up his only Son to die for us. God is dependable and we have to believe tjat

  6. Howard K says:

    Man need to be more bold and depend always on God as long as our decisions are for the greater
    Good and following the path God has put us on.

  7. Howard K says:

    Be more trusting in that God is looking out for my best interest and stop doubting.

  8. Howard K says:

    God grant me the courage and trust that Abram had in you. He made some major changes in his life help me to do the same to follow your Will and not my will. I ask this in your Son’s name Jesus Christ, Amen

  9. Jeremy Hill says:

    Man is always going to stumble but God will always help him up.

  10. Jeremy Hill says:

    God will always be with me.

  11. Jeremy Hill says:

    The Gospel is meant to save those who stumble and need help getting back up.

  12. Jesse Harada says:

    God is faithful and loves and guides us through our stumbling and rashness. He is a loving father who does not hold grievances against us when we fail.

  13. Jesse Harada says:

    Man is imperfect. We will mess up, but when we listen and obey Gods directions in our lives, we are choosing the best route we could take. Listening and obeying God will always lead to a more blessed and fulfilling life.

  14. Jesse Harada says:

    The gospel is a road map for lessons we can learn from the stories of our ancestors. They map out the trials we may Face and allow us to see where we should go and what we should do in our lives.

  15. Jesse Harada says:

    I will take action in listening to Gods direction and guidance and trust that where He has me go, will be the best for me, even if it looks scary.

  16. Jesse Harada says:

    I will pray for wisdom to hear what He would tell me and courage and strength to boldly do what He asks me to do.

  17. Nathan says:

    We sometimes expect good thing from our calling from God. We jump into it and want good things to happen but when it all goes wrong we say “well this isn’t my calling.” He has put you there for a reason or else he wouldn’t have called you to that place.

  18. Nathan says:

    God calls us to do great things. He is faithful and He will finish what he has started in us wherever he’s called us.

  19. Nathan says:

    I will pray for guidance. I will ask God what my calling is. I will wait on him to move in my life. As I wait I will praise him.

  20. Nathan says:

    Lord I need guidance from you. These opportunities that are in front of me, I want to know if I’m called to one of these places. Lord show me what my calling is. Give me your spirit and light to walk in, and help me to be open to your voice and your spirit. Thank you Jesus for all that you’ve done. Thank you for being faithful and kind to me. Amen.

  21. Felix says:

    If/when I stray off the path God has made for me, that I would remember to be like Abraham and still worship the Lord before and after every mistake.

  22. Felix says:

    God will call us out of our comfort zones, our self sustained security, and uproot us from what we thought we knew.

    “In America alone right now we have, I dare to say this, but before God, I believe we have hundreds of millions of gospel casettes. And we have millions of gospel books, and we have hundreds of bible schools, and we have, over the year, we have hundreds of seminars, and we have people memorizing the scriptures, and we have 5000 radio stations whom every day gives some part of the scriptures, and yet, with all this stuff to feed us, dear God, where are we? With all this stuff to feed on, 95 percent of us are spiritual cripples, spiritual infants, spiritual babes, children. Full of self-pitty, self-interest, self-seeking, self-concerned.. me first! In America alone right now we have, I dare to say this, but before God, I believe we have hundreds of millions of gospel casettes. And we have millions of gospel books, and we have hundreds of bible schools, and we have, over the year, we have hundreds of seminars, and we have people memorizing the scriptures, and we have 5000 radio stations whom every day gives some part of the scriptures, and yet, with all this stuff to feed us, dear God, where are we? With all this stuff to feed on, 95 percent of us are spiritual cripples, spiritual infants, spiritual babes, children. Full of self-pitty, self-interest, self-seeking, self-concerned.. me first! You say sometimes; “I wonder why God doesent burden me?” Do you know why? Because He cant trust you, thats why!. Youre not strong enough to carry the burden. Alot of you hear this sermon now, you dont need more light, this will only make it worse for you on judgement day. What you need is more obidience. Some of you have known for years what you should do and you hold back. Do you remember some of those awesome words Jesus said to his disciples;”I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them”. I say, reverend, the almighty God dont say that to me at the judgement scene. Dont let me stand before John Wesley and all the great saints of the ages and hear Him say; Ravenhill, I had many things to tell you, but you where so preoccupied with this and that. I could not get through to you, and if i did you where not mature enough to handle it. 5 minutes inside eternity, I believe everyone of us will wish we had sacrificed more, prayed more, loved more, sweated more, grieved more, wept more!!”
    – Ravenhill

  23. Felix says:

    I find myself acting out like Abram, knowing what the Lord requires of me yet I go another way, trying to find my own solutions to the problems. I trust in my own understanding, I acknowledge my own strength and take the plans of God into my own hands.
    Because of Abram, Pharaoh was plagued. Because of Abram, a woman was left widowed and a boy fatherless thus starting a generation of people who would be at war with the people of God till this day.
    So I wonder how my disobedience affects those who I cross paths with and what are the side effects that I don’t see in the long run.

  24. Felix says:

    Jesus also calls us out of our comfort. The son of man had no place to rest his head so why should we? We are called to take up our cross and walk as He did. That we would die to ourselves and fulfill the purpose of the gospel.
    “I don’t want comfort, I don’t want ease in Zion! Because the Kingdom of God is build not by those who rest but by those who go out into the streets and fight, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal they are mighty. Intercessory prayer, the proclamation of the Gospel, and sacrificial love. Children of God, do what you were called to do! Be valiant and strong and know that it will cost you. You take your stand beside Jesus Christ and his cause, and you watch the devil come after you. Buffeting you from the outside and from the inside, but thats what war is about.” – Paul Washer

  25. Felix says:

    God help me not to stray away.

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