In today’s first reading from the Book of Genesis, God instructs Abraham (then Abram): “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you.”
How easy do you think that was for Abraham? Before I drive to a destination outside of the Twin Cities, I Mapquest the directions to be sure I’m clear about the route (even for a destination I’ve been to before), I put the address into my phone so I can call on Siri if I miss a turn or there is some detour, I fill a water bottle in case I get thirsty on the drive, and I check the weather forecast.
Abraham couldn’t check online to see what the weather or the terrain would be like as he went forth from the land of his kinsfolk. He couldn’t text friends in the area to see if his route would be a safe one. On top of that, Abraham was 75 years old!
Yet Abraham “went as the Lord directed him.” In the New Testament Book of Hebrews we read:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise…By faith he received power to generate even though he was passed the normal age – and Sarah herself was sterile – for he thought that the one who ha made the promise was trustworthy.
By faith Abraham said yes to God’s call.
Notwithstanding Mapquest, Siri, and all of our other modern aids, the road we walk in response to God’s call can sometimes seem as unclear and even as frightening as Abraham’s. Yet God’s promise to us of his love, fidelity and blessing is no less than that to Abraham either.
May we walk with the faith of Abraham.