What ELSE Went With Abram

Still thinking about this guy named Abram.

It’s important to remember what else he brought on his journey (besides his issues). 

Namely, all the faith that he needed in order to start on that journey. 

There’s nothing in the Biblical text that indicates why Abram might have been chosen to go on this unexpected journey. Nothing that might reveal why this God might have picked him above everyone else. 

(By the way: what if it’s not so much that God PICKED Abram; maybe it’s that God is ALWAYS calling, and Abram was the only one who just happened to be willing to hear?)

It would have been easy for Abram to focus on the gaps in the invitation “go to a land which I will show you”? How do I enter that into GPS? 

Or on the enormity of the invitation—“Uh, how am I supposed to be the father of a nation when my wife and I appear to be unable to have children?” 

Instead Abram just does what life requires of us: he just starts moving. 

Life doesn’t require that we have all the answers (because I can guarantee you that we do not). 

Life doesn’t require that we know the DESTINATION. 

Life just requires that we are willing to take the first step. 

And what Abram is taking with him is that willingness to take the first step. He’s willing to believe that maybe, JUST MAYBE, life is more than what he’s experienced so far. 

And so he starts moving, and becomes the paradigm of faith for everyone, a reminder that how you do anything is how you do everything. 

Abram’s journey starts with a willingness to start moving—from Ur to Canaan. Our journey starts EVERY DAY with that same willingness. Start moving. Our unknown journey every 24 hours can be just as adventurous (and impactful) as Abram’s. 

The Bible Project, Pt 5: Rescue Begins

To read The Bible Project, Pt 4 click here

To review:

• God created.
• God created humanity in His image, with freedom and authority
• That creation got fractured in a big way, but God responds with mercy and grace

But there’s still a long road ahead, and the central problem is this:

Creation is broken; what is God going to do about it?

From Genesis 3 to Genesis 11, evil and chaos spread over the earth, but then when we get to Genesis 12 something interesting happens:

A man named Abram hears something.

“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of earth will be blessed because of you.’

Abram left just as the LORD told him, and Lot went with him.

With those few lines, everything changes, and God reveals His plan:

• Abram is going to have a family/nation
• God is going to “bless” (fix) the earth
• This blessing is going to come through Abram and his family

With that, God’s “rescue project” is underway. His plan is to deal with the fracture of Genesis 3 through a people.

This passage also says two additional things about God and His story:

First, this God calls. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many people God actually spoke to, only that Abram listened. Regardless, God is a god of invitation, of extension, of welcome. We just have to learn to open our ears (or eyes) to hear Him.

Secondly, in the same way that God gave humanity “work” to do in the garden, God gives humanity work to do to help in the rescue of His creation.

(He obviously thinks a lot of us).

Put another way, God seems to be saying, “You were part of this problem (the brokenness); now you’re going to get to be part of the solution.”

Hidden inside this pronouncement is something else that will have a profound impact on the story. As the rescue project moves forward, it will be marked by three characteristics:

  1. It will be a community (“a nation” in v2). The rescue mission involves an invitation to be a part of a people. It is an invitation to connectedness.
  2. It will be marked by purpose (“an agent…”). It exists to be a blessing to the world, to be a part of the rescue project. To that end, to join the family of God is to receive purpose.
  3. It will be marked by holiness (“blessing”). “Holiness” can be a scary word, but in words of Dr. Brian Russell (who pointed out this three-fold framework), “Holiness is just a desire for people to be a little bit better than they are right now.” To join the rescue project is to desire to be a blessing, not a curse, and therefore involves growth in “blessing” things: love, gratitude, joy, generosity, and so on.

Next up: The Mission in Jeopardy