Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds
The story of Abraham’s calling in Genesis 12 is one of my absolute favorite biblical events. The whole event takes place in three simple, but powerful, verses. Yet, it contains a message that if we would only take to heart would bring about radical change to our world.
“Then Adonai said to Abram, ‘Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing. My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed,” (Gen. 12:1).
G-D’s calling to Abram started a counter culture revival that changed the world and is still changing the world today.
As G-D speaks these words in Genesis 12, Abram is living in his father’s house in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abraham is told by G-D to “get going” out of his land, from his relatives and from his father’s house, to a land that he would be shown by G-D. As we read on, we see that Abraham listens to G-D, packs up, and heads out on the journey to the Promised Land.
Think about this for a moment: Abraham was not called out of his father’s house in Ur so he could move to Canaan and become a Canaanite. He was supposed to become an entirely new nation whose calling and purpose was to be a blessing to all of the families of the earth. Abraham was called to not only reject the culture of his nation and family, he was called to reject the culture of the land and the people where he was called to go.
In verse 2, we find out what G-D’s purpose in calling Abraham was. G-D wanted to make Abraham a great nation, to bless Abraham and to make Abraham’s name great. But, that is not the end of the purpose for Abraham’s calling. G-D says in verse 2 that His purpose for doing all of those things for Abraham was not for Abraham’s benefit, but so that Abraham may be a blessing. The purpose of Abraham’s blessings and, according to the promise of G-D, the blessings upon his descendants was so that they could be a blessing to others.
A large part of the reason that the children of Abraham, both by birth and by faith, do not have a good name today and are not the blessing that we could be in the lands we have been called to is because while we have rejected the culture we came out of, we have not (at least, not fully) rejected the culture of the people we have been called to.
When we heard the calling of G-D on our lives and accepted the Messiahship of Yeshua, many of us adamantly rejected the culture of the people we were called out of. We stepped away from the worldliness and unrighteousness that we once lived within. We so strongly walked away that we began to hate the ungodliness and sin of our personal Ur of the Chaldeans.
Unfortunately, while we rejected the ways of the land we came from, we did not reject the sinful culture of the land we were called to. We wholeheartedly accepted the traditions of “The Promised Land,” the world of the believer in Yeshua (Jesus) without questioning if those traditions were acceptable to G-D. These traditions are many and varied and way too many of them are contradictory to the ways of G-D.
These traditions, while many and varied, can be identified easily because they all encourage selfishness and me-ism. Too much of the body of believers is so focused on themselves. Our prayers are focused on what we can receive, what we want so that we can have things, rather than the recognition that any and all blessings that come from G-D are given not so that we could greedily hold onto those blessings, but rather so that we can be a blessing to others.
Remember that according to the Bible, G-D’s calling on our lives and the blessings that come with it are for the purpose of blessing others.
Until we decide to join Abraham’s counter culture revival, we will not see the fullness of G-D’s blessings upon the children of Abraham. Until we reject not only the ways of the sins of the world we left, but also the sins of the land we have been brought to, we will not experience true blessings of G-D, which are not about receiving, but about giving to and blessing others.
Eric Tokajer is the author of “Overcoming Fearlessness,” “What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?,” “With Me in Paradise,” “Transient Singularity,” “OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry,” “#ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer,” “Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians” and “Galatians in Context.”