The call of Abram in Genesis 12:1 is not really the beginning of the story.
The story really starts with his father, Terah (Gen. 11: 27). Terah gets his children later in life: he is seventy unlike his father and grandfather who got children when they were 29 and 30. I wonder why?
One of his sons, Haran, dies young and another son, Abram marries a barren wife. Then Terah takes the orphaned grandson, Lot and Abram the son without children on a long journey to Canaan. Again I wonder why?
Half-way they stop and settle and Terah dies. That is the context into which the call from God comes to Abram. God tells him to leave his father’s house to go to Canaan. Just like his father had done; he is to finish the journey that his father began. When he goes he takes Lot with him, just as his father had done. I wonder how Abram recognised God’s voice. I wonder whether the content of the call helped.
The call on Abram to depart is an amazing combination of both something completely new that leaves everything behind and a continuation of a family tradition. He leaves his father’s house to fulfil his father’s dream. The blessing is equally double sided. Abram is to become a great nation and in him all other families (nations) shall be blessed. A great nation that will not be an all consuming colonial empire but a blessing to others.
12 March 2017
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anna-Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Director of Studies for the Centre for Formation in Ministry.
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