Instruction and Obedience

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
We now come to a very interesting story in God’s blessed book. It is about Abram. God has told us a great deal about some people, whereas others are only men­tioned by name. The Bible is not a history book, and there is always a divine purpose in everything God has been pleased to write down for us. “Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:44For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)).
Instructions for Abram’s Journey
Abram was a man of faith. When we have faith in God, it simply means that we believe exactly what God has said, because He has said it. And faith always shows itself in works — other­wise it would be dead faith. The Lord appeared to Abram and told him to leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house, and come into a land that He would show him. This was a hard thing for Abram to do, and the Lord knows just how difficult it is for you to take a stand for Him, too, dear boys and girls. Ask Him to help you and He will. We often sing to­gether,
Ask the Saviour to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you,
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.
Abram’s father, whose name was Terah, decided to go along with him for at least part of the way. One day they began their long journey. Traveling was very slow and difficult in those days. There were four of them in the company: Abram and his wife, his father Terah, and his nephew Lot. They intended to go all the way to Canaan, which was the place where the Lord wanted Abram to live. How­ever while they were traveling along they came to a very nice place, named Haran, and they decided to live there. Perhaps Abram’s father persuaded him that it was better than Canaan, for Abram seemed to forget that God had told him to go to the land HE would show him. God wanted him in Canaan, not Haran, no matter how much better it seemed in Haran.
Partial Obedience
Abram was only partially obedient, for although he left his own country, and his kindred, he did not leave his father’s house, for his father was with him, nor did he come into the land which God was to show him. He stop­ped short of the path of full obedience to the Word of God. Dear boys and girls, are we not often like Abram, and choose our own path in some things? God could not bless Abram in Haran, and he had to bring a great sorrow into his life to make him realize his mistake. His father died there, and how keenly Abram must have felt it. Often sorrows come into our lives, too, but God allows them for our blessing if we take them from His hand. “For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men” (Lamentations 3:3333For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. (Lamentations 3:33)).
The Lord used this trial in Abram’s life to exercise him, and soon he gather­ed everything together and set out again for the Land of Canaan. This time he did not stop by the way how­ever; he continued on his journey until he arrived in Canaan. The Word of God, and His promises of blessing were before his soul and cheered him in the path. We, too, have “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:44Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)), which encourage our hearts as we pass through this dark scene on our way to Glory.
Further Meditation
1. What did the Lord tell Abram to do when He appeared to him?
2. Why is Abraham called the “father” of faith? What would it be like to travel to a strange country that you had never seen pictures of, had no place to live in, and no job waiting for you when you arrived?
3. You might enjoy reading the simple and faith-stirring account of Abraham’s life found in the book Abraham: The Friend of God by H. Smith.