Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)
There is nothing more important than family because that is the foundation of life every person is born into. Whatever a man will become largely is dependent upon the environment of his surroundings as the member of his extended family. As a child, character comes from interaction with family creating bonds that are often deeper than any other relationship. This connection grows strong over the years becoming more entrenched in the older years. Imagine being seventy-five years old and deciding to abruptly pack up your life’s collection of memories and move to a far off land that you have never seen and have no knowledge of what is in store for you and your family. In the early story of man, there was a man called Abram who was the son of Terah, ten generations removed from Noah. God comes to Abram and tells him to leave his country, his family, and from his father’s house to a land that He would show him. Abram acted like a man who believed fully in the word of the Lord and obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he would receive as an inheritance. The Hebrew writer will illustrate faith by showing that Abram had no idea where he was going and what was before him but he trusted in the will of God that all would be well. Leaving the comfort of family, friends and a life he had known for three-quarters of a century, Abram took his wife Sarai and Lot his brother’s son and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran and journeyed toward the land of Canaan. He lived in tents in a foreign country. This was quite a change for Abram and his family. Nothing would dissuade him from the will of God and Abram acted in faithful obedience to the word of the Lord. He would live to be 175 years old and have two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Sarai would give birth in her 90th year to Isaac making him a son of the promise given by the power of God.
Family is important and few things can replace the value and worth of family. Abram was a man of the home and would be declared by the Lord that he was known of God in order that he would command his children and his household after him, that they would keep the way of the Lord. Abram was a man devoted to his immediate family as a husband, father, and uncle. When the Lord called Abram to leave his family he was willing to give up all that was familiar to him and everything that was comfortable for his family to live in tents and wander for one hundred years in a land that was never his own. The family he left behind was his extended family, his roots and his heritage. This is important to treasure the full relationships of the wealth in the community of family but obeying the Lord had more blessings for Abram. He was willing to leave all he knew for a life that seldom knew what the next day would bring. Faith was the engine that fueled the spirit of Abram to leave family and follow God. Whether he would understand all the will of the Lord and what the promises would mean for him, Abram lived every day with the assurance that God had a plan for him and leaving family, friends, and life comfortable in his familiar surroundings was only a blessing to serve God more. He was guided by the word of God and the word of God alone.
Jesus would declare that if a man loved his family more than Him, he could not be His disciple. The faith of Abram illuminates the spirit of love one must have for God that places the will of the Lord above all other relationships. Abram fulfilled his role as a husband, father, and leader of his community of family by setting before them the power of God’s word. He was willing to leave many things to follow an unknown path of blessings given to him by the Lord. As the head of his family, he led his family towards God. His example of faith would show the family he left behind that God was of greater importance. The message to his immediate family was his love for God. Sadly, his nephew Lot and his family lived among the richest men of the world in respect to the love of God and failed to allow that influence to guide their lives. Lot will not be remembered as a man who put the Lord first above family. Abram left an indelible mark on the pages of holy writ of true faith in the promises of God above family, self, and life itself. The church is in desperate need of men like Abram who will stand as beacons of hope for the family to lead them to the land of promise given through the blood of Jesus Christ.