Read His Words Before Ours!
My husband is a teacher, so we take full advantage of his summers “off.”
We invested in a small camper and have used it to travel the United States. We are currently planning a 3-week trip, from Mount Rushmore to Oklahoma City. Each day is planned, the quickest route mapped out, fun sights along the way, our campsites booked, and our meals planned. Thanks to the pandemic, I’ve had an EXTRA year to work out all the details.
I’m already anticipating the Are we there yet?s, the countless bathroom stops, and I’ll be sure to have puke bags ready to distribute for the carsick travelers.
Plan, prep, over-prepare…
Can you imagine how frantic it would be embarking on a road trip of unknown length, requiring unknown supplies, to an unknown destination?
I’m always impressed with Abram’s (you might know him as Abraham) handling of an unplanned journey with PLENTY of detours along the way.
We are first introduced to Abram in Genesis 11, at the end of Shem’s genealogy. We learn Abram’s father lived in Ur of the Chaldeans but set out with his family for Canaan. Instead, they settled in Haran. We’re not told why, but maybe after 4,998 miles (8,043 km), the thought of even one more step was too much.
Abram’s father dies in Haran, and then, when Abram is 75 years old, God calls him to leave his home and all he knows. God doesn’t give Abram many details, directing him to go to the land He will show him. I would have a LOT of questions, and yet, Abram simply went, trusting God.
Abram, his family, servants, and animals head south along the Mediterranean Sea. They travel for 7,586 miles (12,208 km) before reaching Canaan. Can you imagine the smells or the sand (in all the places) or the walking? All the walking.
When Abram finally arrives, Canaanites are in the land, yet God promises Abram the land will be HIS and his descendants’. At the moment, Abram has NO children, but takes God at His word. He builds an altar at Shechem, then moves on to Bethel, where he builds yet another altar, calling on the name of the Lord, before following God’s leading to the Negev, THE DESERT.
And just in time for a famine!!!
Thanks to the food shortage, Abram needs to move, again.
This time to Egypt.
It’s his shortest route yet, just under 400 miles (643 km).
He doesn’t get to stay and enjoy the pyramids for very long before Pharaoh forces him out, and so Abram and company return to the desert. They backtrack to the altar at Bethel, which will become a literal touchstone for the fulfilment of God’s promises.
Before Abram gets too comfortable, he’s forced to split with his nephew Lot and so he’s off one.more.time.
God seemed to fill Abram’s journey with one detour after another.
Yet surely, God had a reason, a plan.
As I reread this story, I realized each time God re-routed Abram, He also made, or confirmed, a promise to him.
Genesis 12:1-3 — I will make you a great nation, a blessing to all people
Genesis 12:6-7 — I will give your descendants this land
Genesis 13:14-18 — I will give you all the land you see, and make your offspring more numerous than the dust of the earth
God wasn’t just going to work in Abram’s lifetime, but in the many generations to come.
And when God makes a promise, He keeps it.
Every single time.
Throughout the rest of Genesis, we watch as God works out every detail, faithfully providing for, and protecting, Abram’s family (known as the Israelites). Genesis closes with the Israelites settling in Egypt, a land of plenty, during a famine. The Israelites were sustained by the hope that God WOULD fulfill His promises. They had seen, and experienced, His faithful goodness through the generations, but would that testimony be enough?!
Would it be enough to keep their faith alive as political forces changed and they endured 400 years of slavery in Egypt?
As we start the story of their exodus, we can hear the Israelites crying out in agony to God, desperate for salvation. (Exodus 2:23-24)
Then, we breathe a huge sigh of relief as we read, “God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God saw the Israelites and God knew.” (Exodus 2:24-25, emphasis mine)
If you’ve waited for God to answer a prayer, you understand the growing impatience, the rising doubt, the overwhelming fear that maybe God has forgotten you, doesn’t truly care about you, or a multitude of other lies.
Right now, my family is in the process of adopting 2 boys from Haiti. We have been waiting for over 2 years to be matched with our sons and welcome them home. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t questioned WHY God is having us wait.
Whatever you are waiting for right now, I assure you God has NOT forgotten you.
He DOES see us.
He DOES know our situation.
And He WILL act.
We serve the same God who led the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and to Canaan.
Yes He Can, by the sibling group, Cain, reminds me of God’s faithfulness in the past and assures me He’s at work in my life today.
All those miracles God performed for the Israelites are groundwork for US.
And finally, JESUS Himself came to earth and made the blind see, the lame walk, the mute talk. He turned a boy’s lunch into an all-you-can-eat buffet for over 5,000!
THEN, He died and ROSE AGAIN!!!!!
As we look at whatever problem confronting us, we can be SURE God CAN handle it.
May we have the faith of Abram, trusting and following Him without knowing all the details. May we believe He can do the impossible, even if we have to wait to witness it.
May we know beyond a shadow of doubt that God still keeps His promises, even in 2021.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!