Devotional for Thursday, May 7
Yesterday, I wrote about change and the comfort we can take from God’s constancy.
The unchanging God can ask us to make some big changes, however. Abraham, known as Abram before God modified his name, is a great example of how God might ask people to alter their lives radically.
Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT)
The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
But I will curse those who curse you.
And through you I will bless all the nations.”
Why did God make this request? Well, in Abraham’s case, it was because God wanted him to be one of the biggest agents of change in history. His willingness to say “yes” to God triggered a series of events making eternal life possible for all of us.
Abraham was, of course, the patriarch of the people who became known as the Israelites. Their existence alone has had a mighty impact on this world. No one can deny that the Jews have had a deep influence on the cultures they have touched for millennia.
It is, however, that last part of God’s promises to Abraham that points to astounding change. “And through you I will bless all the nations.” A more literal translation of the Hebrew would end, “bless all the clans of the earth.” Everyone should be affected by Abraham’s decision to pull up tent stakes and move. Everyone!
The ongoing fulfillment of this promise from God shoots straight through the Old Testament, on through the New Testament and into today. Through the Israelites, a savior comes—Jesus Christ!—and restoration from sin is made possible to all the world. Even death is defeated, a truth we continue to celebrate in this season of Easter and resurrection.
A call like Abraham’s is exceedingly rare. It would be unusual for any of us to be asked to abandon homeplace and family for all time in order to change the world around us.
Meditate on this for a while, however: What might we be called to change in our lives to glorify God? And if we hear a clear answer, are we willing to do it?
Lord, may callings placed upon us be heard clearly so we may act decisively. Amen.