Genesis 11:26-32 NIV

[26] After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Abram’s Family [27] This is the account of Terah's family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. [28] While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. [29] Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. [30] Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. [31] Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. [32] Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.



When we come to the story of Abram (later called Abraham), this great father of the faith, the temptation always is to begin with his call in Genesis 12. However to do so misses a crucial point: God's call always happens in a context. What do I mean? God always calls specific people at specific times in specific places with a specific purpose in mind. He is not a God of chance, random selection, or just "winging it". He is intentional, purposeful and determined. When He wants something done on earth, He seeks out men and women to partner with Him to fulfil His mission and mandate.

Abram lived around the end of the Early Bronze Age (circa 2000 BC) in a thriving, bustling, cultured city known as “Ur of the Chaldeans”. The land of the Chaldeans—also known as Mesopotamia—was located in present-day Iraq, which archaeologists and historians call the cradle of civilization because this is where ancient people first gathered into cities and established societies.

People in ancient Mesopotamia worshiped a pantheon of mythical gods, ruled by the moon god, Sin, whom they regarded as “the lord of heaven” and “the divine creator.” Like his relatives and neighbours, Abram worshiped idols and accepted mythology as truth (see Joshua 24:2). Even so, God appeared specifically to Abram and gave him personalised instructions, a calling which would not only transform his life but that would impact every subsequent generation in human history.

No matter what your background is or even where you find yourself today, know that God isn't put off by our past or deterred by our present circumstances. He sees beyond who we are to all that He has created us to be. He calls us in a context and places dreams, purposes and destiny in our hearts which are always bigger than we are and greater than we could have imagined.

The initial call is always to God Himself. This is where it all begins. However after we respond to this call, there will be many more calls throughout our lives and each time we will have to make a decision to respond in obedience and faith, or shrink back in fear and self-pursuit.

God's initial call to me came when I was 14 years old and living in an unchurched family in a sectarian and deeply divided town in Northern Ireland. He invaded my world and I welcomed Him into my heart. That was just the beginning of a journey which has had many twists and turns, ups and downs, and which continues to this very day. I have stumbled and strayed, but He has always been faithful.

As we journey with Abraham, we will see someone who is far from perfect and yet someone who, through obedience and faith, became a man through whom God was able to initiate His plan of salvation, someone who became the father of the nation which God's Son was born into. 

How could He have imagined back then that God would be able to do so much through someone like him. Maybe, just maybe, God can also do incredible things in your life and through your life if you will respond with "yes" to His call today.