Notes from The Patriarchs: Abram’s Response

My hope for this blog and for Women In His Image is that these will be forums in which we can discuss the notion of “responding to God.” My greatest desire is to help women and girls come to see how events that happen in our lives are all opportunities for responding to God and that this response is essential.

Which leads me to the fact that I am a big fan of Beth Moore’s bible studies. If you have never done one you definitely should! If you live in the Houston area, Beth has regular teaching engagements at Houston’s First Baptist Church. Having sat under Beth’s teaching when she was my Sunday school teacher, I can tell you that she is the epitome of a southern woman and is even more engaging in person than she is on DVD. She is gracious, warm, and has a wonderful style of teaching that is Biblically sound and spiritually challenging. Currently I am going through her study “The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” As usual, I continue to encounter amazing things in this study of the Old Testament.

In one of the initial lessons of this bible study, Beth discusses Genesis 12 in which God calls Abram (Abraham) to a new and different life. During the lesson, I became fascinated with Abram’s responses to God in this situation. Beth points out something that I had never recognized: Abram’s family was polytheistic (Joshua 24:2). God called Abram out of a polytheistic culture and family and chose him to be in covenant with the one and only God. He gave Abram two simple commands: leave everything that you know and love, and go to a place you don’t know. In other words, he gave Abram the opportunity to respond.

In Genesis 12:4 we get to see how Abram chose to respond to God: “So Abram went…” (ESV) God asked Abram for obedience and Abram chose to respond in obedience. In fact, obedience appears to be the first part of God’s blessing plan for Abram. In Genesis 12:7(b) we continue to see how Abram chose to respond to this God that he had literally just met: “So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”

First Abram responded with obedience, then he responded with worship.

The next time that God asks me to leave what I know and go somewhere I have never been (in my work? in my relationships? in my walk with God?), I hope that I can respond with an obedient heart and worship Him every step of the way.

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