Every once in a while you’ll run into an idea that just seems like came out of no where. “Leave your country and your people” seems like one of those. And what often happens with an idea like this is that it takes on a life of its own. If ever an idea took on a life of its own, this one does. If you just sit there reading it, even then, it just sort of pops out at you. There’s a bunch of ancient history and then poof without warning God shows up. Imagine if you’re him though!
There you are sawing away in middle of the desert night. You’re perfectly content in your warm tent when suddenly a cold breeze whips up the front flap and wakes you up to this. Furs flip and fly as you try to figure out what that just was that crawled in from the desert sand into your brain. Wiping your eyes, you sit on the edge of the bed mouthing the words again. Leave here, leave all this? Goat cheese gives you crazy dreams but this? This is altogether different.
You see God needed someone he could trust. God had this idea. This was, after all, God’s way of interjecting himself again into human history. God found a way to have His people really be His people again. It was at least a short-term solution to that garden variety problem.
A second contract. The likes of which the world had never seen or would ever see again. But it was the terms of contract that pained Him so. Oh Adam! God wished He could get around it and remembered how Adam loved to watch the mud breath but it was going to take the lives of bulls, goats, and birds for it to be valid. Those were the terms. It had to be valid. Corrupted life code demanded perfect life code. It had to work. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Leave all this, your people, your land, and your country and I will show you. I will absolutely blow your mind. Sure, at the age of 20, 30 or even 40 leaving seems like a reasonable venture. But when you Abram at 75, and not used to God doing that sort of thing, you might begin to question yourself. You must be hearing things. You’ve cracked. You’re losing it old man. What are you going to do tell Sarai? Pack the bags we are headed to um, to the beach?
It was the second part though that made him laugh probably because if he hadn’t he would have cried. A great nation? Ha. All the peoples of the earth… He tried to cover his smiling mouth. A nation would require some off spring. And Abram couldn’t remember the last time that he and Sarai… Is it hot in here? Never mind. Abram liked his place in Ur. It was real cozy. After all Sarai always said she didn’t travel well. They were now settled, real homebodies. If ever there were an unassuming adventurer he was it.
But then something almost unbelievable happened. So unbelievable that even God’s mouth was hanging open. And in this way Abram did something no one up to this point in human history had done yet. He believed God. This Abram, who should have been set in his ways, got up from his bed and nodded his head. He believed God but not in the way that most people believe God. You see most people believe God for stuff in the gaps, simply because they have to. They believe God when it’s expedient to believe God. This is the person who believes in God the way they believe in the trapeze artist in the big top at the circus. Watching them from the stands, they think to themselves; sure the trapeze artist can catch the next swing. But this is how Abram believed God. Abram got up out of the stands, climbed the ladder to the very top of the tent and jumped out with his hands fully extended.