WORD FOR THE WEEK Genesis 12:4-9 So Abram left [Haran], as the LORD had told him; Lot went with him. … Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Schechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said “To your offspring I will give this land”. Last week we learned that Abraham delayed his obedience to God’s call to leave Ur. He ends up in Haran and then stops there for a long time. ow we will see that Abraham’s obedience to God is put into action as he leaves Haran and strides out into the desert to go to the land God would show him – ultimately Canaan. The immense pull of God – All-powerful, All knowing, Creator, LORD – imbues Abraham with such supernatural information that he discards his idolatrous ways and leaves a comfortable and convenient lifestyle for a grueling trek and a nomadic life. The distances from Ur to Haran and then from Haran to Jerusalem are equidistant – each around 400 miles. That’s a huge feat! I would not undertake a 400 mile car ride lightly – let alone on a camel! Nonetheless, we know that God’s plans will not be thwarted. His plans for us began with creation, were understood in the spirit realm at the fall, were established through Abraham and were developed through the line of David – culminating in the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Calvary. All Abraham knew was that God wanted him to leave everything in his life and go somewhere that He, God, would show him. Somehow Abraham was enabled to comprehend a great deal from God, to such an extent that he could endure so much with so little to go on. This image of Abraham leaving his world and turning to God provides perfect imagery for us as we are also called to turn to away from everything that binds us and face the LORD. When Abraham left Haran he was in his 70’s. When he died, he was 170. So for 100 years, Abraham CHOSE to lead a life set wholly unto God, wholly apart from the trappings of the world. For Abraham’s time in the desert was a time of sanctification, a time of learning who God is, having one of the closest and most intimate of relationships, in which he gained the kind of insights that come only from being wholly set apart unto the LORD. Abraham lived and breathed the LORD through these travels, so that by the time they reached Canaan, he would have been very much aware of what was acceptable to God and what was unacceptable. And the practices in Canaan were abhorrent to the LORD. Abraham had maintained a strict order of separation from the world around them – remaining apart from the pagan practices of the day. He had come from an idolatrous culture yet he now knew the true and living God; walked and talked with Him; received is direction and counsel from Him. Entertaining any religious practice other than that of God's was out of the question. Purposeful commitment such as this comes when we set ourselves aside for Christ. It was only after he arrived at Schechem in Canaan, when he had completed the calling placed upon his life by God, that Abraham received the answer to the question probably uppermost in his mind since leaving Ur – “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’” v.7 After all this time, since the LORD had first commanded Abraham to ‘Go’, miles and miles of struggle, blistering sun, frigid cold, dust storms, searching (and fighting) for water, encountering death, hunger, perhaps even longing for family and the luxury of Haran, it all came down to eight words “To your offspring I will give this land”. They had made it! Where the offspring would come from Abraham knew not since Sarai was barren. But they had made it! They had made it! Where the offspring would come from Abraham knew not since Sarai was barren. But they had made it! They had been rewarded with an answer to that age old question – are we there yet? - by a faithful God who stuck to His plan of redemption for mankind. We are not 'there' yet, but as long as we are setting ourselves apart from the world around us, we will be sanctified and prepared for the time we spend in eternity with the LORD. ...and like Abraham, while God calls and draws us to an intimate relationship with him, it is still our choice to make.