The Lord had said to Abram, (Genesis 12)
“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
In Genesis 11, the people decided to make a city and to build a tower that would reach to the heavens. With this tower they would make a name for themselves. Clearly this was a big project that united the community. They had to organize to make bricks and to haul them to the location and to assemble them. They had missed the plan of God, which was to spread across the earth, not to gather and to spread the peace of Eden not the fame of their city.
In Genesis 12 we see the plan of the almighty. It is big in it’s ultimate purpose. The purpose of Abraham’s call, and thus for the establishment of the nation of Israel and finally for the growth of the Church was to extend the blessing of God to all nations.
The previous chapters had listed many nations which “spread abroad on the earth after the flood.” (Genesis 10:32) And so from Abraham would come a blessing that would chase these and other later nations across the face of the earth.
What Abraham begins with is what he has to leave. God’s call is to leave his country, his own people and his own family. He travels with his wife and nephew, but eventually leaving aside his nephew.
His wealth grows through his travels, adventures and misadventures, yet when he nears 100, there is not nation, there is no son even. He owns no land, though he had received it in promise from God.
Abraham dies with one heir that will be the one to receive his promise and one plot of land from all that god promised – the burial plot for Sarah.
What grows during this time of obedience is the faith of Abraham. Read the chapters and see where he moves from being self-serving – putting Sarah in danger in Egypt, to being a peace maker with Lot (Genesis 12) and to being an intercessor for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18).
The plan was to go large, but what Abraham experienced in his following God was small – in things that can be counted. It was large in spiritual riches.