The Greatest Exodus for the Nations (Call of Abram)
The Exodus Motif and Discipleship 2
Gen. 12 – 22
Read Gen. 12:1 – 9
The divine presence lost in Eden becomes the central catastrophe in the biblical drama.
- Estelle, Bryan D., Echoes of the Exodus: Tracing a Biblical Motif, 2018, p. 94
Having lost the divine presence, humanity struggles to regain it failing in the process. In Genesis 12 God, in His grace, does something with all of the nations of the earth in view. Before we discuss that, let’s review some of humanity’s failures along the way:
· The first couple were tempted and fell into direct disobedience of God’s command. This is the loss of both the divine presence and the opportunity to live in a perfect world. (Gen. 3)
· The first murder with Cain, out of anger over the rejection of his offering, killing Abel. (Gen. 4:1 – 15)
· Humanity increases in wickedness until “…every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5 NKJV)
· In the midst of all of this evil, Noah walks with God resulting in God establishing a Covenant with him while sparing he and his family from the worldwide flood. (Gen. 6 & 7)
· God establishes a Covenant with creation. (Gen. 8:20 – 22)
· In disobedience, humanity begins to build a tower toward heaven in the desire to reach what had been lost. God scatters them by language. (Gen. 11:1 – 9)
Just as it looks like all of humanity is once again in a place for the judgment of God, it is God Who reveals Himself to one individual in an idolatrous land and discloses His plan of grace for all of the nations.
As we remember this is a near eastern, agrarian society, notice that in Gen. 12:1 – 9 God calls Abram to leave:
· Family – one’s sense of identity.
· Country – land meant survival as it was their livelihood as well as their deity (idol/god).
· Father’s house – one’s place in society that would be their remembrance by future generations.
Obedience meant that Abram was giving up his place in his “clan/tribe,” his future security, and even his survival! Today we would call this, “The ultimate ask!” God promised him that he would be a great nation and a blessing to all nations. His descendants would give us the Scriptures as well as our Messiah/Savior! We have been blessed through Abraham’s life of obedience!
Though we have no indication that Yahweh explained or demanded
a monotheistic belief or that Abram responded with one, it is clear
that the worship of Yahweh dominated Abram’s religious experience.
By making a break with his land, his family, and his inheritance, Abram
is also breaking all of his religious ties, since deities are associated
with geographic, political, and ethnic divisions. In his new land, Abram
does not have any territorial gods; as a new people he does not bring
any family gods (though Rachel attempts to when she leaves); having
left his country he does not have any national or city gods. It is Yahweh
who fills this void, becoming “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
(Ex. 3:16; cf. Ex. 3:6, 15)
- Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, p. 34
This is equivalent to the New Testament call to the “crucified life” found in Luke 9:23, Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
In a sense, our salvation was the beginning of our Exodus and, much the same as Abram's, we are not sure where God will take us in this lfie. It is only the beginning as it is being "born again" (Jn3:3 - 8). It is a danger to separate salvation from sanctification as the purpose of our salvation is to move us toward Christlikeness (Rom. 8:29). When we forget that, ot os easy to grow comfortable with where we are spiritually when we have been called to a deeper walk and greater things (2 Cor. 3:17 - 4:18).
The question for each of us is, "Are we willing to go where He wants to take us?" We need to be about what is best for the King and His Kingdom, bringing glory only to Him!
Soli Deo gloria Deo (Glory to God alone)