October 2, 2023

JD Wilhelm
"Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there."
Genesis 11:31

This might seem like an odd verse about which to write a devotional. But it is precisely at this point in the book of Genesis that the narrative shifts dramatically, and it is here that we need to pause and recognize what this shift signifies. The book of Genesis through the first eleven chapters has the world as a stage, but it now narrows down to a small town in Mesopotamia, to a single family, to a single individual – Abram. Abram does not come out of the blue, rather chapter eleven demonstrates that he has deep familial connections to all the nations of the world.

The previous chapters demonstrate how God has been actively engaged in the life of all people. Therefore, Abram comes to represent God’s cosmic purposes and activity. The narrative shift to Abram does not signify a new world or a new divine objective for the world. God clearly still retains the goal of redeeming the world so that it reflects its original divine intentions. But what we see in the story of Abram is the outworking of the means by which God will reclaim His creation.

We don’t know why God chose Abram and not some other person or family. But we do know that God chose him. This choice of Abram should be understood as God’s response to the problem created by sin and evil that had become so prevalent among all the families of the earth. Here at the turning point in this narrative it is important that we pause just for a moment and recognize that God chooses to use individuals to accomplish His divine purposes in a broken and sinful world. Where might God be seeking to use you this week to bring about His purposes? This morning, ask the Lord to give you eyes to see those opportunities this week.