The Call of Abram (Genesis 11:10-12:9)

When God calls, you should answer. But what if I do not want to answer? What if I am comfortable where I am and perfectly content doing what I am doing? Do not be afraid of God’s call, whatever it may be, because God always calls you to something better. In our sermon today, we shall discuss God’s call for Abram (later known as Abraham) to leave his country and family and go to a new land.

  1. God’s Call (12:1-3). Two important points to note in this section: 1) the necessity of faith and 2) the guarantee of God’s blessing. Faith is necessary because the call to “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” is extremely difficult. Leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar is not easy, but the person of faith will heed God’s call because he knows God’s commands are good and God is trustworthy. While God’s call may not be easy, God blesses obedience. Consider the promises God makes to Abram: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” We learn that God’s calling has the intended purpose of blessing you and enabling you to be a blessing to others.
  2. Abram’s Obedience (12:4-6). We know that Abram is a man of faith because, after God told Him to go, we read: “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” Abram did not negotiate with God. Abram obeyed God. This calls to our attention the words of Jesus when He said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Notice an interesting detail given in verse 6: “The Canaanites were in the land.” That verse serves as a reminder that God’s call is not without difficulty. These are the cursed descendants of Canaan (Gen 9) who are enemies. True obedience demonstrates faith and perseveres through adversity and Abram is a man of faith.
  3. God’s Affirmation (12:7a). Those who follow God will encounter hardships, but God works to encourage and support during adversity. In the midst of Abram’s obedience and the presence of adversity, God reminded Abram: “To your offspring I will give this land.” This affirmation is appropriate because it is a reminder that God is faithful to keep His promises. Yes, the Canaanites are in the land, but this land belongs to Abram and his offspring. Do not worry but believe.
  4. Abram’s Faith (12:7b-9). It should not have been surprising that Canaanites were in the land of Canaan. Instead of worrying about the Canaanites, Abram worshipped God. Therefore, Abram “built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.” Abram’s faith is evident in his worship because he trusted that God was faithful to His promises.

God’s call for Abram to leave all he knew was difficult, but being a man of faith, Abram obeyed God. He did so because he loved God and trusted Him. What is God calling you to do? Like Abram, He is calling you to be a blessing. Are you going to listen and obey or will you cling to what is comfortable? How many of us are being called to be Missionaries? Pastors? Deacons? Children’s ministry workers? Youth helpers? Witnesses to our neighbors/friends/co-workers? How many of us are willing to be an instrument in Jesus’ hands? God is calling all of us. Let us all answer the call.