A Long, Long Walk
Genesis 12:1-7; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 125-131
I will listen when God calls me to serve Him.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ ” (Isaiah 6:8).
“Neither do I,” Anya replied. “Dad said he felt the Lord wanted him to take the new job. I wonder how he knows what God wants?”
“Let’s ask him,” Mika suggested.
“We need to ask you something, Dad,” Anya whispered, tugging at his dad’s shirt. “How can you be sure God wants us to move?”
“That’s probably the same question someone asked Abram when God told him to move,” Dad said. “Let me tell you a story.”
Abram loved God. He talked with God often during the day. He wanted to do whatever God said.
One day God spoke to Abram. “It’s time for you to leave Ur, Abram. You must leave all your friends and go to a place that I will show you.”
Abram must have been speechless. Why would God want him to leave his home and go someplace else to live?
God continued, “I will bless you, Abram. I will give you children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Your family will grow into a mighty nation. You will be greatly blessed.”
Now, that must have really made Abram wonder, for he and his wife, Sarai, did not have even one child.
Nevertheless, Abram and Sarai chose to obey God. They packed up all their belongings. Abram’s servants folded and packed all the tents. The time had come to leave.
Abram called together all those who would go with them. Lot, Abram’s nephew, joined the group. All the people who worked in Abram’s house and the people whom Abram had taught to worship God also got ready to go. They loaded their donkeys and their camels and began their long journey.
Abram, Sarai, their family members and their servants, walked the dusty road day after day. The sun was hot. But through it all God provided for them.
Finally, the caravan reached the land of Canaan. But still Abram and Sarai, their people, their donkeys, and their camels traveled on. When would they stop? Where was God leading them?
In Shechem, a place where many Canaanites lived, there was a forest of trees called the Great Trees of Moreh. When Abram reached the forest of Moreh, he called to his servants, “Halt! Set up camp here.”
As the servants prepared the camp, God appeared and spoke to Abram. “Look around you, Abram,” God said. “This is the land that I am going to give you and your family.”
Abram looked around. He saw a wide, grassy valley with softly rolling hills. He saw olive trees, fig trees, and springs of cool water everywhere. But Abram also saw something that made him very sad. Among the trees he saw altars that were used to worship idols.
Abram immediately gathered stones to build an altar. He wanted to worship God and thank Him for being with them during their journey. He wanted to tell God that he was willing to go anywhere God wanted. He was willing to do whatever God asked him to do.
“And so,” Dad told Anya and Mika, “we need to be willing to listen to God—just as Abram was. God spoke words directly to Abram. Today He may speak to us directly; through His Word, the Bible; or through the counsel of people who are following Him. Your mother and I are glad to serve where God sends us. And when we are willing, God lets us know what He wants. He gives us understanding and helps us know in our hearts what He wants us to do.”