Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.’”
Genesis 12: 1
King James Version
“Sarai: Life on the Road”
“Let the sweet hope that Thou art mine my path of life attend;
Thy presence through my journey shine, and crown my journey’s end.”
English hymn writer
Is there a time in my life’s journey when I have felt fearful because I didn’t know where I was going?
“There is no going alone on a journey. Whether one explores strange lands or Main Street or one’s own back yard, always invisible traveling companions are close by: the giants and pygmies of memory, of belief, pulling you this way and that, not letting you see the world life-size but insisting that you measure it by their own height and weight.”
My grandmother grew up in Maryland. After finishing college, she married a young man whose parents had served for years as missionaries in Chile. Within a month after graduation my grandma arrived with my grandfather in Guatemala. She was twenty-two-year-old, her husband was on the road a great deal of time and this young girl could not speak one word of Spanish. In fact, up to this point in time, my grandmother had never traveled outside the borders of the United State of America. It would take volumes for me to share with you even a few of the harrowing experiences grandma endured. But through it all, this young twenty-two-year-old girl learned that just like the children of Israel, “the Lord went before her by day and kept her warm when she was alone at night.”
Maybe my grandma’s adventuresome spirit was encouraged and inspired by our Biblical heroine this week, Sarai.
Yesterday we learned that Sarai was Abram’s wife and she had not been able to have a child. This is all the information we found out about Sarai right up front.
Today, we learn that Sarai’s father, Terah decided to move. You may be scratching your head and saying, “Wasn’t Terah, Abram’s dad, too?” The answer is, “Yes!” Sarai and Abram had different mothers but the same father. Back in Old Testament time, the custom of marrying a family member was common, for several rather practical reasons. First, you couldn’t put your name on “eHarmony” and find matches all over the world. You were limited, by geography especially, to the clan or tribe you grew up in. This was the field most likely to have your mate planted in. Second, marrying within a family circle ensured that a families’ inheritance stayed, “in the family.” This may explain why Abram chose a half-sister to be his wife.
Just as the family settled down, they were on the move again. Let’s get this clear, moves in those days were an ordeal. Growing up, my parents moved a lot, and I have to be honest, I find no joy in moving. However, some people don’t mind it at all. Lorraine Hanberry, in the famous novel, A Raisin in the Sun, describes moving this way: “Ah, I like the look of packing crates! A household in preparation for a journey! Something full of the flow of life, do you understand? Movement, progress.”
Possibly, this was how Sarai looked at relocating, for no sooner had her family moved to Haran than her father Terah died. And the very next verse in Genesis tells us that God came to Abram and said, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee” (Genesis 12:1, K.J.V.).
What happened? Genesis 12: 5 says that Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to Canaan.
You don’t read about any griping or murmuring or grumping. Instead, this huge family caravan followed God’s leading and when they arrived at a mountain east of Bethel, the Bible tells us, “Abram built an altar to the Lord and called upon God’s name.”
What made this journey so joyful, purposeful, and meaningful? The answer is that God was leading.
Abram knew God was leading. Sarai knew God was leading. And this couple chose to walk in God’s path, following the lead of the Lord their God.
As I have been studying about Sarai for several weeks, and then today thinking about the courage of my young grandmother, I realized that God’s daughters, down through history never fail or falter when they follow their Leader – God. The only time we get off track, as we shall see tomorrow, is when the focus of our eyes is diverted from God to ourselves and our situation. But if we walk with God and worship at His altar, we will find ourselves arriving in the Promised Land as we daily fulfill the purpose God has for our lives.
Lead Me, Lord
“Not my will, but Yours
is the test for my heart today.
Not my honor, Lord, but Yours
is the test for my words today.
Not my glory, Lord, but Yours
is the test for my actions today.
Not my path, Lord, but Yours
is the test for my life today.”
Joretta K. Klepfer
“O Lord, this is our desire, to walk along the path of life that you have appointed us, in steadfastness of faith, in lowliness of heart, in gentleness of love. Let not the cares or duties of this life press on us too heavily; but lighten our burdens, that we may follow Your way in quietness, filled with thankfulness for Your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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