Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house…
I. THIS CALL INVOLVED HARDSHIP. Each step of real advance in the Divine life will involve an altar on which some dear fragment of the self life has been offered; or a cairn beneath which some cherished idol has been buried.
II. BUT THIS CALL WAS EMINENTLY WISE.
1. Wise for Abraham himself. Nothing strengthens us so much as isolation. So long as we are quietly at rest amid favourable and undisturbed surroundings, faith sleeps as an undeveloped sinew within us; a thread, a germ, an idea. But when we are pushed out from all these surroundings, with nothing but God to look to, then faith grows suddenly into a cable, a monarch oak, a master principle of life.
2. Wise for the world's sake. It is impossible to move our times, so long as we live beneath their spell; but when once we have risen up, and gone, at the call of God, outside their pale, we are able to react on them with an irresistible power. Archimedes vaunted that he could lift the world, if only he could obtain, outside of it, a pivot on which to rest his lever. Do not be surprised then, if God calls you out to be a people to Himself, that by you He may react with blessed power on the great world of men.
III. THIS CALL WAS ACCOMPANIED BY PROMISE. As a shell encloses a kernel, so do the Divine commands hide promises in their heart. If this is the command: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ"; this is the promise: "And thou shalt be saved." If this is the command: "Sell that thou hast and give to the poor"; this is the promise: "Thou shalt have treasure in heaven." If this is the command: "Leave father and mother, houses and lands"; this is the promise: "Thou shalt have a hundred fold here, and everlasting life beyond."
IV. THIS CALL TEACHES US THE MEANING OF ELECTION. It was not so much with a view to their personal salvation, though that was included; but that they might pass on the holy teachings and oracles with which they were entrusted.
V. THIS CALL GIVES THE KEY TO ABRAHAM'S LIFE.
1. He was from first to last a separated man.
2. But it was the separation of faith. Abraham's separation is not like that of those who wish to be saved; but rather that of those who are saved. Not towards the cross, but from it. Not to merit anything, but, because the heart has seen the vision of God, and cannot now content itself with the things that once fascinated and entranced it; so that leaving them behind, it reaches out its hands in eager longing for eternal realities, and thus is led gradually and insensibly out and away from the seen to the unseen, and from the temporal to the eternal.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: