From the very beginning of time, it was in God’s plan to form a people for himself. It was in Abram, later named Abraham, that this plan became specific. He called Abram to be the father of the people from whom the Messiah would eventually come. And even though this aspect of God’s plan was beyond Abram’s grasp at the time, Abram was still promised a share in the blessings of the plan.
When called to leave his country for an unspecified land, the only guarantee Abram had was God’s word that he would make him a great nation. Abram agreed, and his response of faith and trust resulted in his becoming a blessing to the whole world.
What a challenge—and what a promise—this story holds out for us! Our own faithful response to God’s word can lead to blessings far beyond our imagination.
The story of Abram shows that faith requires both trust in God’s promise and obedience to his commands. In fact, as far as God is concerned, promise and command belong together. He knows that obedience becomes desirable to us as we come to appreciate all that he has promised us. And likewise, he knows that obedience to his commands is the key that will unlock all of his promises in our lives.
Abram didn’t see the fulfilment of God’s promise immediately. It took years of testing and experience, during which time he learned to live by faith. God continues to gather a people to himself even today, and he will continue to gather us until he send us his Son again. The requirements of faith and obedience are no less important today than they were for Abram.