In my own life I’ve noticed that I tend to put a lot of focus on the destination. I’m always thinking about where I’m going. So much so, that sometimes I fail to really appreciate the development and preparation that takes place during the journey. The journey is what molds and prepares us for our destination.
As I thought more about this, I thought about the story of Abraham in the bible. In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham to “Go to a land that I will show you…” God didn’t give him specifics. He simply told him to go. During Abraham’s journey, he experienced battles, famine, strife and conflict. Yet because of his obedience, because he trusted God, He also gained new identity, financial blessings, and ultimately saw God’s promises fulfilled in his life. There are few specific characteristics about Abrahams journey that stood out to me.
The first is that Abraham remembered God at every stage of his journey. The bible tells us numerous times; that as he journeyed, Abraham built an altar to the Lord.
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your posterity. So Abram built an altar there to the Lord…” (Genesis 12:7) Abraham didn’t allow himself to forget why he was doing what he was doing. He remembered and cherished the small steps, places, and moments that God spoke to him. And most importantly, he believed what God had promised.
The second point that stood out to me was how Abraham came out of the famine more blessed than he went into it. According to the scripture, almost immediately after Abraham decided to trust God, leave his home land, and embark on this journey; he encountered a severe famine.
“Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land was oppressive (intense and grievous).” (Genesis 12-10)
Even in the midst of famine, Abraham didn’t second guess if he really heard from God. He didn’t pack up and move back to his home land. And because of his faith and perseverance God blessed him in the midst of the famine. Obedience pays!!
“And he (Pharaoh) treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, he-donkeys, menservants, maidservants, she-donkeys, and camels.” (Genesis 12:16 AMP)
SO ABRAM went up out of Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South [country of Judah, the Negeb]. Now Abram was extremely rich in livestock and in silver and in gold.”(Genesis 13:1-2 AMP)
The final point I’d like to discuss is how Abraham became “Abraham” on this journey. Abraham started his journey when He was 75, He didn’t see God’s promise until He was 99 years old. Yet Because he listened to God, And because he was faithful to follow what God had commanded; He was given new identity on his journey.
“And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God).” (Genesis 15:6 AMP)
“Then Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, As for Me, behold, My covenant (solemn pledge) is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations. Nor shall your name any longer be Abram [high, exalted father]; but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude], for I have made you the father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.” (Genesis 17:3-6 AMP)
Abraham didn’t need all the specifics of God’s plan before he decided to be obedient to follow. He didn’t know the battles, famines, and conflicts that he would have to endure. But he trusted, relied on, and remained steadfast to what God had told him. Abrahams purpose, promise, and identity were revealed to him during his journey and because of his obedience. I guess you could say, His faith, and willingness to trust God through the journey; made him who God wanted him to be!
By Alphonso Sensley II