Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house…
In all God's teachings the near and the sensible come before the far and the conceivable, the present and the earthly before the eternal and the heavenly. Thus Abram's immediate acts of self-denial are leaving his country, his birthplace, his home. The promise to him is to be made a great nation, be blessed, and have a great name in the new land which the Lord would show him. This is unspeakably enhanced by his being made a blessing to all nations. God pursues this mode of teaching for several important reasons.
1. The sensible and the present are intelligible to those who are taught. The great Teacher begins with the known and leads the mind forward to the unknown. If He had begun with things too high, too deep, or too fax for the range of Abram's mental vision, He would not have come into relation with Abram's mind. It is superfluous to say that He might have enlarged Abram's view in proportion to the grandeur of the conceptions to be revealed. On the same principle He might have made Abram cognisant of all present and all developed truth. On the same principle He might have developed all things in an instant of time, and so have had done with creation and providence at once.
2. The present and the sensible are the types of the future and the conceivable. The land is the type of the better land; the nation of the spiritual nation; the temporal blessing of the eternal blessing; the earthly greatness of name of the heavenly. And let us not suppose that we are arrived at the end of all knowledge. We pique ourselves on our advance in spiritual knowledge beyond the age of Abram. But even we may be in the very infancy of mental development. There may be a land, a nation, a blessing, a great name, of which our present realizations or conceptions are but the types. Any other supposition would be a large abatement from the sweetness of hope's overflowing cup.
3. These things which God now promises are the immediate form of His bounty, the very gifts He begins at the moment to bestow. God has His gift to Abram ready in His hand in a tangible form. He points to it and says, This is what thou presently needest; this I give thee with My blessing and favour.
4. But these are the earnest and the germ of all temporal and eternal blessing. Man is a growing thing, whether as an individual or a race. God graduates His benefits according to the condition and capacity of the recipients. In the first boon of His goodwill is the earnest of what He will continue to bestow on those who continue to walk in His ways. And as the present is the womb of the future, so is the external the symbol of the internal, the material the shadow of the spiritual in the order of the Divine blessing.
(Prof. J. G. Murphy.)
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: