Family was not just a part of Terry’s life, family was his life. His family was the proudest accomplishment of his successful life. It gave him great joy to see his adult children stay close to home and raise their families in the same community that he raised them in. Furthermore, his family was characterized by peace. All his kids got along well with one another.
But, it was his 3 sons that were his greatest source of pride. Each one of them were following in his footsteps of being “a family man.” It wasn’t just that they were committed to their respective wives and kids, they genuinely loved each other and looked out for one another’s families. When there was a family gathering, they all made it a priority to be there. It didn’t matter if it was a birthday party, a performance or a christening, they each made it a priority to be there for their nieces and nephews.
Yet, fate is not a respecter of families. Tragedy strikes healthy and dysfunctional families alike. Sadly, Terry was dealt a devastating blow when his son Harry’s young life was cut short. Having already lost his mother, Harry’s son was now an orphan. But, Terry had raised his kids well. His oldest son, Abe, stepped up to the plate and took his nephew into his home. This brought Abe and his wife considerable joy since they didn’t have any kids of their own.
Behind the scenes, there was something going on in Abe’s life that was going to upset Terry and the equilibrium of the family he’d worked so hard to establish. Although Terry and his family were God-fearing people, they were at best nominal followers of the true God. If they lived today, they would have been just as comfortable worshipping in a synagogue, a mosque or a Buddhist temple as they would a church.
But, this was not the case with Abe. He had not only come to question his life-long religious beliefs, he had secretly rejected them. He had been confronted by the message of God’s Word and he knew there was no turning back. As much as he loved his family, his allegiance now lie with the God who was calling him to pull up his tent stakes and leave his mom and dad for a new land where he could proclaim God’s Word to others.
Oh, how he must have wrestled with telling his family. Finally, he got the courage to tell them about his newfound faith in the God of the Bible. Surprisingly, his family took the news well. In fact, they took it so well that they were willing to join Abe and his wife Sarah on their journey to Canaan.
It’s been over 4000 years since God called Abraham to leave his hometown of Ur and head west to Canaan where God would eventually lead Moses and Israel into the Promised Land. As God brings one idol-worshipping man from Ur to saving faith in Him, God sets the pattern for how He’ll work in the lives of people from every nation, tribe and tongue to bring them to faith in His son Jesus. Let’s take a look at Genesis 12:1-9 to see how people of faith should follow their Lord.
This article is an excerpt of a sermon in my series in Genesis. All are welcome to join us for worship every Sunday at 10:30 am. Lighthouse Community Baptist Church is located at 22 Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck.