Genesis 12:1 begins with God telling Abraham to “Go for yourself, from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” and then He gives him a promise as a result of doing that….And I will make you a great nation, and bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. And of course we know that this promise… the Blessing… is ours also according to Galatians 3:9 “So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.”
God didn’t just tell Abraham to leave his land, relatives and father’s house. He said to him “lech lecha”. Lech Lecha is a unique phrase that God only spoke in the Old Testament to Abraham. To everyone else (Moses, Jacob, etc) He said “kum” which means arise and is always spoken to those who need to come up to a higher level to follow God. Lech Lecha on the other hand is an invitation. Literally it means “you go” but it means so much more. Most biblical scholars say that adding lecha to lech serves to make the verb more intense. God is telling Abram that this is not just a command to leave home, it is an invitation to journey to himself. Literally means “come to yourself”… find the you I’ve called you to be! Go to the Land that I will show you – where I will make you VISIBLE – where your “potential being” will be realized in multiform and unpredictable ways.
In order to embark on this journey he had to first do 3 things… leave his birthplace, his relatives and his father’s house.
His birthplace implies boundaries and he had to cross those boundaries and leave them behind…. leave his past behind. He had to cross the Euphrates just like Eber did… to become a Hebrew (one who crosses over) on his own not on his ancestor’s merits.
His family implies influence. Abraham’s family worshipped idols. God wanted to be Abraham’s influence and wanted to make Abraham an influence to the world around him. He wanted to become the God of Abraham and through Abraham bless all the families of the earth. He couldn’t do that if Abraham’s family were his influence.
His father’s house implies control. Our fathers are our teachers whether for good or for bad. We are under their sphere of control for many years. As a result it is difficult to separate from the need to seek our father’s approval. This is not to suggest that we should ignore, disrespect or dishonor our fathers. The simple fact is we must grow up. We must learn to seek God’s approval in place of our fathers’ approval. Our fathers are our teachers. They protect, correct and provide for our needs. They are responsible to God to direct us and to use their influence to guide us in the Word. However, Abram’s father was an idol maker. He was an idol worshipper…. he was not teaching Abram to worship the one true God. Terah wasn’t guiding Abram to a relationship with God but rather a life without God.
God is also calling us… inviting us to journey to find ourselves in His Word. He is saying to each of us “Lech Lecha”. An invitation… an adventure to find who we are IN CHRIST and to fulfill the destinies He has for… to be who He created us to be. In order to do that we first need to leave behind any boundaries that keep us from God and from crossing over into the fullness of who He is… the abundance of His grace towards us. And also leave behind those things or people that influence and control us away from God. Even our own ideas and beliefs that keep us from being all that we are IN HIM.
The next blog we will talk about Abraham’s name change and the next part of his true identity transformation……..