PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 12
Theme: The Divine Call
Key Text: Verse 1


            Throughout the Scriptures, it is said that God calls men unto Himself. Salvation is more than a decision on man’s part. It is a revelation, a gracious call from God to the human heart. As Paul explained, the Lord “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace” (2 Tim. 1:9). Believers are even referred to as “the called” (Rom. 1:6; 8:28). There are many examples of God’s call to men, but His personal summons to Abraham, and its effects on his life, seems to serve as a unique pattern for His dealings with men.


1. A Call Of Departure
            The phrase, “Now the Lord had said unto Abram” (12:1), indicates that this is an account of what had already happened (see 11:31). Abraham had been called! And, that call was a command to leave his “country,” his “kindred,” and his “father’s house” (12:1). It was a call to separation! Like all of God’s people, Abraham was “called . . . out of darkness ‘ (1 Pet. 2:9). He was called to “repentance” (Luke 5:32), to forsake his former ways. All his idolatrous practices (see Josh. 24:2), all his worldly attachments, all his previous connections, must no longer govern his life.


2. A Call Of Direction
            God’s call to men does not just separate them from the world. He calls them unto Himself! He calls the heart Godward, saying, “Come unto Me” and “learn of Me” (Matt. 11:28, 29). Paul mentioned that we are “called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9).  Abraham was brought into a personal relationship with God. The Lord said unto him, “I will shew thee . . . I will make thee . . . I will bless thee” (12:1-3). With God’s unconditional promises as His rod and staff, the patriarch was directed into a life of God-consciousness. Furthermore, he was brought into the land of blessing and fullness (see 12:4-9).

3. A Call Of Development
            Abraham was called out of the Chaldees that he might be brought into the land of Canaan. In an hour of crisis, however, he “went down into Egypt” (12:10), seemingly trusting man instead of God. But, God used his failure to develop and mature faith in his experience. We know this because Abraham returned to his inheritance and progressed in his spiritual sojourn. The Lord is involved in conforming His people “to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). Even, “if we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). 

            My father has always been able to whistle louder than anyone I know. I could hear him clearly from the little ball field up the road from the house. I knew that sound meant for me to leave my ball-playing and my buddies and come home. Comparatively, though we have wandered far away, the Lord’s call to our hearts is loud and clear. His heavenly voice summons us to forsake the world, come home to God, and “walk worthy” of Him who calls us “unto His kingdom and glory” (1 Thes. 2:11).