TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, October 04, 2018:
The founder of the Jewish nation and the first Biblical patriarch. In Hebrew Abraham means “Father of multitude?”
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:2-3.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Abraham was God’s chosen vessel through whom He would reveal Himself to the world. Abraham could never have imagined how significant a role he would have in the future of all mankind. When God promised Abraham to make of him “a great nation” (Genesis 12:2) he had no idea of what God was saying to him.
The key to the fulfilling of God’s plans was Abraham’s obedience. We can follow the steps of faith in Abraham’s life in Genesis chapters 12 to 25. In Genesis 12:1, Abraham was told by God to, “Get out of the country, get out of your father’s household, leave your people, and go to a land that I will show you.”
Abraham is known as a man of great faith. Abraham did not come from a family that loved God or knew God. They were idol worshippers (Joshua 24:2). Although Abraham started out as a man of weak faith his faith grew as he became more obedient to God.
In order to accomplish what God had commanded Abraham to do there were six stages of journeys that Abraham took over the years that showed his growth in obedience to God’s will as his faith grew.
First, he travelled from Ur of the Chaldeans, where his father’s house was, to Haran. We are told that his father Terah and his nephew Lot traveled with him. He only obeyed God in part. He left his country but he did not leave his father’s household or his relatives.
While Abraham was in Haran God repeated His call to Abraham to “go out from your kindred and go into the land I will show you”.
Second, he traveled from Haran to Shechem, which is in the center of Canaan but this was only after his father died. By making this move he left his father, obeying God’s command but still not separating himself from his father’s family. At Shechem the Lord appeared to Abraham and promised He would give the land of Canaan to his children. In response Abraham built his first altar to the Lord to worship and honor God showing his faith in God. Altars symbolized communication with God.
Third, Abraham moved from Shechem to Bethel. Bethel means “House of God’ and it was a place where people went to seek God’s counsel. Abraham built his second altar to the Lord there.
Fourth, he moved from Bethel to Egypt because there was a famine in the land of Canaan. He disobeyed God by going to Egypt because he failed to trust that God would supply his every need. He was out of the will of God being in Egypt and not in Bethel. It is only when one is in the will of God that he can truly worship the Lord and Abraham was out of the will of God. It is better to endure trials (famine) and accept the will of God than to attempt our own limited solution such as Abraham did.
Fifth, Abraham recognized his disobedience and left Egypt and went back to Bethel. He went back to the house of God (Bethel). He went back to worshiping at the altar of God. At Bethel, Lot and Abraham separated and for the first time since the Lord called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans, he was fully obeying God. He now was separated from his country, his family and his father’s house. Abraham was now fully compliant with what God had asked him to do.
Finally, Abraham moved to Hebron which became his home as God desired for him. It was here that God really started blessing him because he had become fully yielded to God and was in His perfect will. It was here that his two sons were born.
It was here that Abraham faced his greatest test. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Just before Abraham was about to kill Isaac on the altar, God stopped him. Abraham’s willingness to obey God, even if it meant sacrificing his beloved son shows how great Abraham’s faith had become. God had truly blessed Abraham as He had promised making him the father of a great nation.
We can learn from the experiences of Abraham the importance of listening for the leading of God in our lives and responding according to His will and not according to our desires.
The measure of one’s faith is obedience. Abraham had to take that first step of obedience in faith. With that first step God grew his faith.
Abraham could not have understood the full significance of the importance of his obedience to God’s will for his life, but every believer understands it now because it was through the line of Abraham that Jesus, our Messiah, came to this earth to save us.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Proverbs 22:6.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Just as Abraham returned to Bethel to seek Your guidance, may I continually come to You and seek Your guidance. Keep me obedient to Your will so that I may grow in my faith. May I be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life so that I can represent You to those who are hurting and needing a relationship with You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
May we encourage you to send a DONATION to help:Deliver a box of food to feed a poor family for one week in the inner cities of America --- the poorest of the poor and/or to children and their families in a third world country. (we deliver food boxes to 20 third world countries.)
SPONSOR ONE BOX FOR ONLY $7.00
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.
(All gifts are income tax deductible)