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Genesis 12:6-7 “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord , who appeared unto him.”
Have you ever been on a long trip, or had to relocate for your job to another state with the entire family and family pets? You have a carload of kids fussing and yelling “are we there yet, I have to go to the bathroom!” You are at your breaking point, when you finally arrive at your destination.
Now, just imagine Abram traveling during Biblical days. His mode of transportation, his feet, donkeys, and/or camels. Genesis 12:5 tells us that “Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.” Abram’s trip, with family, servants, and animals from Ur, to Haran to Canaan was approximately 700 miles. This was quite a momentous journey and undertaking – truly a 700-mile “walk of faith!” History books record travel in Biblical days as dangerous and very difficult. Travelers didn’t have paved roads, hotels, no food stops along the way, no prepackaged foods, no cell phones, and no AAA. It was the traveler(s) and the hard terrain, and in some cases wild animals lurking about. Now let’s not forget Sarai! She was accustomed to living a comfortable life with family, friends, and a thriving community only to be told she was moving to an unknown destination! She was probably wondering if her husband had lost his mind.
Many thoughts also had to be going through Abrams mind, such as “did God really talk to me! Did I make the right decision? Sarai must think I am crazy for leaving comfort to struggle through tough terrain. None the less, Abram in spite of all difficulty and complaints, continued on this long journey being guided by God. The Bible doesn’t reveal much about what transpired doing the family’s 700-mile walk, but knowing our God as a loving and protective God, He watched over Abram and family. I would venture to say that with Abram being 75 years old, God may have given him supernatural strength and confidence to make this long journey without discouragement and health issues!
Finally, after months of treacherous traveling, Abram, family, servants, and animals arrive at their divinely guided destination – the land of Canaan. Holy Spirit ends the sentence in verse 6 “And the Canaanite was then in the land.” What does Holy Spirit want us to learn from this phrase? That Abram arrived in the Promised Land, but it is occupied by hostile and impure people. Abram was probably concerned with this knowledge of entering into a land filled with wicked people and undeveloped land. This was going to be a trial of faith on Abram’s part. He was probably wondering if his family would be harmed. (Canaan represents a lifelong battle of the flesh with Abram’s seed then, and for Believers now.)
Appearance of the Lord
A wonderful thing happens next, God doesn’t allow Abram to ponder too long in thought, verse 7 reads, “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Faith produces reward! Notice Holy Spirit doesn’t say “the Lord spoke!” He says, the Lord God appears to Abram and makes a great promise to give to his seed (Abram) the land he was standing upon. In verse 2 of Genesis, God prophetically speaks to Abram telling him, He (God) is going to make Abram “a great nation!” Now we read in verse 7, the Lord appears to Abram speaking prophetically to him once again saying “I am going to give to thy seed!” Remember, Abram and Sarai are old and without children, which means God is conveying to Abram He is going to produce a miracle through them to bring this about!
The next thing Holy Spirit reveals about Abram is that he then builds an Altar before the Lord and worships Him. This building of the altar proclaims Abram believing God’s promise that Canaan will be his seed’s land and that the Canaanites would be dispossessed from the land. God honors faith and I must point out, this is Abrams first act of worship before the Lord and it is in the promised land! As we continue our study about Abram, we will discover he was a worshiper.
What can we learn from these two verses?
1. Abram’s journey was not without difficulty, but in spite of 700 miles of rough terrain and many trials he may have encountered, He believed God and continued his journey to the promised land.
2. Abram’s trip was divinely guided by the Lord.
3. The Lord divinely protected Abram spiritually and physically.
4. Abram arrives at the promised destination – Canaan. Upon arrival he notices that “the Canaanites are in the land.”
5. Abram discovered two things about the promised land.
- The Canaanites were hostile and impure people.
- The land was not as industrious and thriving as his native land.
However, this discovery didn’t influence Abram to return home to what he was familiar with.
6. Faith is honored by the Lord. The Lord appears before Abram and prophetically speaks to him.
7. Abram becomes a worshiper. He builds an Altar and worships God confirming that he believes God’s promise.
If you were asked by the Lord to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles from home to an unknown destination with limited resources, what would your reaction be like? Would you complain? Would you step out in faith and do what God asks of you, or would you hesitate?
Did you know that the Lord honors faith? Whenever we live our life through faith trusting God for the results, the rewards are tremendous.
Let’s end today’s study with Hebrews 11:8-9 says of Abram’s journey “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:”
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