To Abram, the Lord said:
“I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
The word of the Lord was enough for faithful Abram. Though commissioned for a journey with no certain end, with no guarantee except the promise of God, and apart from the comforts of his father’s household, Abram did not falter.
But where was he to go? It’s as if God handed Abram a blank map with a small ‘x’ drawn on. Plus, the guy’s old. I mean, I hardly like walking 20 minutes to my house every evening. Abram was 75 years old. Would they just ride “Bill the one-horned cow?”
Though the logistics were mysterious, Abram had faith in God’s promise. So he went.
Why? What vision gave courage to “this one man… as good as dead… [from whom] came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore?”
Even though Abraham had arrived in Canaan, he did “not receive the thing promised.” He was “still living by faith when he died.” Yet he was a man of great faith, who trusted God more than the grave. He trusted God more than his own plan. He trusted the Lord beyond his wealth, his family, his history.
It was a longing that drew Abraham to this great faith. A longing for a better place. He was promised by God a home. We, too, are promised a home. Though history and culture has changed, though our actions and covenants appear different, we can live in the same promise, crave that same longing.
Hebrews 11 gives us relevance to this story of Abraham… it is the thread that connects the promise he received to us, now.