“now the Lord said to abram, “go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that i will show you. and i will make of you a great nation, and i will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. i will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you i will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” [genesis 12:1-3]
Yahweh, the great “I AM,” has blessed abram. this is astounding.
up to this point, God has witnessed his creation fall as adam and eve desired to gain their own control. he has seen cain murder abel. he has orchestrated floodwaters to drown the evil in the land. and once God purged the land, the new people wanted to build a tower to reach the heavens. any human would have given up way before this point. but our God is faithful.
God is a God of the remnant. he not only chooses abram, but he blesses him, too. abram and his wife sarai cannot conceive, which is a massive deterrent in hebrew culture. yet God has orchestrated this entire plan to showcase his power.
the bible project defines blessing as God sharing his life-producing ability with others. in other words, the Creator blesses creation in a way of allowing creation to live and flourish.
this flourishing is conditional, though. abram is instructed to leave his country and his father’s house to receive this blessing. at this time, one’s understanding of identity in the jewish culture is heavily dependent on nationalism and the family tree. essentially, God is promising a blessing to abram if he leaves his identity behind.
abram’s grandson, joseph, is forced to leave his family and nation behind. yet even through intense trial, he is still blessed by God.
both of these people are already following God when he ordains them to sojourn into a new land. they have already been graciously granted life through God’s saving faithfulness, but continued life and flourishing is to be found in leaving everything else behind to obey God. not only will they be blessed, but others around them will be blessed through their obedience to God.
this is incredibly difficult. the cost of following God seems so high… maybe too high. but that is when we must remind ourselves of God’s character. remember: God, after seeing his creation fall time and time again into extreme wickedness, chooses to bless an undeserving man. God is patient, witnessing multiple generations of his people actively choose to disown him. God cares about preserving a remnant of his people. God is lifegiving. God yearns for his people to truly live in him, not chase after their own empty pride.
what is the cost that seems too high for you? is that person or thing that keeps you stuck producing a wellspring of living water in you? or is it leading to death? we produce our own suffering when we try to remain in control and attempt to keep things out of God’s hands.
Jesus tells the pharisees, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. i came that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” (john 10:10).
Jesus doesn’t just give us life… he gives us abundant life. Jesus gives his people a new identity, and as we walk in that new identity, we get to experience abundant life only found in him.
will you cling to the cost, or will you live abundantly in Christ today?
reflect on ephesians 4:17-32 as you enter into the rest of your day.