The title over the twelfth chapter of Genesis in my Bible is "the call of Abram." And I believe the same call is for every serious Christian. God called Abram, and He calls each of us, too. However, I do not think every Christian hears the call, and among those that do hear do not always respond. It is much easier to be dedicated to religion than being dedicated to Christ. Anyway, Abram gets his call from the Lord in Genesis 12:1. If you haven't received your call yet, put yourself in Abram's place and maybe you will get the call also.
Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee.
It is important that we keep in mind that God is Spirit and not a man. He is not a spirit; He is Spirit. And He is omnipresent, which means He is everywhere at the same time. His presence is everywhere. Yet there is a great gulf between God and man. Therefore, when the Scriptures speak of God coming to man, He is spoken of as descending, and when man approaches God, he is spoken of as ascending. It is amazing how man can be so close to God, and yet be so far apart. He can be as close as your breath, but if you are not aware of Him, He is light years away. It has to do with your awareness.
The first thing said in our verse is: Now the Lord had said to Abram. How did the Lord speak to Abram? God is not a man and does not communicate as we do. Neither is His voice heard naturally. As has been noted, God is Spirit! And man is spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). So, God being Spirit communicates spiritually, and we must receive His communication with our spirit. That means it is necessary for us to learn how to discern, see, and hear with our spirit. Paul said, For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit (Romans 1:9). We must learn how to serve Him, know Him, discern Him, see Him, and hear Him with our spirit. When you receive the Holy Spirit, then your spirit will come alive and begin functioning as it should so do not expect to hear a voice outside of you when God speaks. If you hear Him, His voice will be heard in you. When the Word says, Now the Lord had said to Abram, Abram was hearing God's voice inside of himself.
Next, the Lord says to Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee. The Hebrew word for "country" and "land" is erets. Sometimes it is translated "earth". So, God is telling Abram to leave his country for another country, to leave his land for another land, and to leave His earth for another that God will show him.
It becomes obvious to the observing eye that Abram was not merely leaving one land or country for another on earth. As he traveled on his journey, he became aware that God's objective for him was much greater. We find the evidence for this in Hebrews 11:8-10: By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Abram was not looking for a city, land or country on earth. He was looking for a city, whose builder and maker was God. That city was the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2).
When God told Abram to leave his country or land, He also told him to leave his kindred and his father's house. He must leave his kindred for a new kindred and his father's house for a new house. This is difficult for some to understand. So, let's try to explain it from Jesus' teachings in Matthew's Gospel.
Matthew 12:46-50 While He yet talked to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him.
47 Then one said unto Him, Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
48 But He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My mother? And who is My brethren?
49 And He stretched forth His hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren.
50 For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.
Jesus had a new kindred! That is what God was saying to Abram, and it is also what He is saying to us. "Is God saying that we should throw aside our kindred?" No, He is not. Let me explain. Jesus gives the first commandment, meaning the most important commandment, in Mark 12:30: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. We must learn to love the Lord more than we love the members of our family. That is not a rejection of family! Until you learn to love the Lord most, you will not be able to love your family as you should. By loving the Lord with all your heart, you will find yourself loving your family more than you ever did before. Putting the Lord first creates a greater love for your family.
Now, it is easy to see how His disciples could be His brothers and sisters, but why does He call them His mother, too? How can they be His mother? After the Day of Pentecost, when His disciples received the Holy Spirit and began their ministry, they will be ministering Christ to others. They will be the instruments that bring to birth Christ in others. In that sense, they will mother Christ in others, making them mothers of Christ.
So, you see, the call of Abram meant a lot more than merely going to a new country. Abram was becoming a new person, a spiritual person! Oh, the Lord had great plans for Abram; and He has great plans for us, too! Let's look at verses 2-4.
Genesis 12:2-4 And I will make of thee a great nation... the Hebrew word for nation is goy, which means a nation other than Israel, a gentile nation. Neither is it English, German, Spanish or any other country on earth, because he is going to a new country called New Jerusalem, which is the Body of Christ.
...and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. ...Abram is blessed to be a blessing, and so it is with us! If we are blessed, it is because we are to be a blessing.
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curses thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him...
How are all the families of the earth blessed in Abraham? Matthew 1:1 says: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. So, all those who are blessed in Jesus Christ are also blessed in Abraham. Now, how can Jesus Christ be the son of Abraham? Isaac was Abram's son, and Jesus was born of His mother Mary and had not an earthly father. That is thinking in earthly terms. Remember what was said about Abram leaving his country for a heavenly country. We are speaking of things that take place in God's world of spirit. Listen to what God says! For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9. When God says, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, it is speaking in spiritual terms.
Now, let's carry the lineage a little further. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:16. There we have it again! The seed of Abraham is Christ; He is the son of Abraham. Let's follow the lineage a little further. And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29. If we are members of Christ, then we are also the seed of Abraham. Thus, the call of Abram is going forth. Can you hear it? If you can, begin your journey today!
Copyright @ 2019 by Henry DuBose