Leaving Home

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Genesis 12:1-9

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him. (v. 4)

The 600 miles from Ur to Canaan directly through the desert takes a day’s drive by car or a couple hours by plane. But in Abram’s day it meant 1,400 miles of walking northeast along the rivers and valleys of the Fertile Crescent to Haran, and then south into the promised land. Despite all the risks and dangers of ancient travel, Abram trusts God and leaves everything familiar for nothing known (Heb. 11:8). Sin forced Adam and Eve to leave our first home. Abram’s walk begins the journey to our eternal home, obtained through Jesus’ sacrifice. At 75 years old and childless, Abram believes God’s promise that he will become a great nation with many descendants and be a blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:1-3).

People must have thought him crazy! When 33-year-old John G. Paton left Scotland for the New Hebrides in 1858, a church member quipped, “You’ll be eaten by cannibals!” Indeed, the previous missionaries were! John went anyway, believing God wanted these people to receive Jesus. He wasn’t eaten by cannibals, but he did endure the death of his wife and child. By the end of his ministry, more than 3,000 on his island became followers of Jesus. Today, 80 percent of the islanders are Christians because a man left home so others could find their true home.

Where is God inviting you to go? We are all invited to walk with Abram to places and people God wants to bring home. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask God for courage to walk where he leads.