Highlights In Today's Reading:
What a time to be alive! After the flood destroyed all of the human race except Noah's family, God introduces the Hebrew race beginning with Abram (Abraham). Read where the Lord came down (11:5) and what He had to say about the spectacular tower of Babel. You will notice that Abram had weaknesses, just as we do — that he learned firsthand it's always best to trust the Lord, whether in times of famine or feasting.
More than four hundred years had passed since the last recorded communication from heaven. Because of the sinful tendency of mankind, God spoke to Abraham (Abram), asking him to surrender everything to Him and fully trust His leading.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country (in Mesopotamia), and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee. . . . So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him (12:1,4). Abram responded to God's call and gave up all that was precious to him. He gave up his country, home, and friends and by faith obeyed God, committing himself to an unknown future. He could not have known that the journey would be more than a thousand miles to the promised land. Lot, like so many today, was more concerned over material advantages and eventually pitched his tent toward Sodom (13:12). In contrast, Abraham remained faithful.
Many have started out in the right direction with the people of God, but when confronted with worldly opportunities, they decide on self-interest and eventually find themselves caught up in worldly affairs. Lot never recovered from that disastrous decision when he chose the well-watered plains of Sodom and forsook the godly influence of Abraham (see 13:10).
Abram endured many years of severe testing and God found him to be a man who would remain faithful and obey His Word regardless of the circumstances. Some Christians are not concerned with hearing the voice of God since they are too interested in hearing other voices.
Abraham's life was one of building altars and communicating with God. Every Christian has the privilege to be known of God as one who consistently reads His Word and prays with a desire to understand His will, and be willing to walk in it.
And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (regarded) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:23-24).
Thought for Today:
A true Christian rejects the popular, worldly lifestyle and consistently lives as a Christian should. Follow . . . holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
As the Promised Seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:3,7; compare Matt. 1:1; Acts 3:25-26; Gal. 3:16). Abraham was a type of Christ who leads the way to a far better promised land (John 14:2-4,6; Hebrews 11:8-10).
10:5 isles of the Gentiles =oastland peoples; after his tongue =ccording to his language; 11:3 Go to =ome; slime =robably pitch and tar; 11:4 upon =ver; make us a name =ecome a great people; glorify ourselves rather than God; lest we be =nstead of our being; 11:9 confound =onfuse; 12:5 substance =ossessions; 12:7 seed =escendants, offspring; 12:10 sojourn =ive temporarily; grievous =evere.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in memory of Paul Harkus • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Country: Venezuela (23 million) on the northern coast of South America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian dialects • Religious freedom • 94% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Indian pagan religions • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness and faithfulness (Psalm 138:2).
Optional Reading: Matthew 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 4:2