Great epoch and man. Steps of Abram's training. First he was simply called to go -- no promise of inheritance -- obeyed -- came to Canaan-found a thickly peopled land with advanced social order, and received no divine vision till he was face to face with the Canaanite.
1. God's bit-by-bit leading of us.
How slowly the divine purpose was revealed -- the trial before the promise -- did not know where, nor that Canaan was land, but only told enough for his first march.
So with us -- our ignorance of future is meant to have the effect of keeping us near God and training us to live a day at a time.
God's finger on the page points to a word at a time. Each day's route is given morning by morning in the order for the day.
2. Obedience often brings us into very difficult places.
Abram was ready to say, no doubt, 'This cannot be the land for me, peopled as it is with all these Canaanites.' We are ever ready to think that, if we find obstacles, we must have misunderstood God's directions, but 'many adversaries' often indicate an 'open door.'
3. The presence of enemies brings the presence of God.
This is the first time we read that God appeared to men.
As the darkness thickens, the pillar of fire brightens. But not only does God appear more clearly, but our spirits are more eager and therefore able to see Him. We are mercifully left to feel the enemies before we see Him present in His strength.
4. The victory for us lies in the vision of God and of His loving purpose.
How superb the confidence of 'Unto thy seed will I give this land.'
That vision is our true strength. And it will make us feel as pilgrims, which is in itself more than half the battle.