The LORD said to Abram:
“Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.
“I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you.”
Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him.
Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
Abram took his wife, Sarai, his brother’s son Lot,
all the possessions that they had accumulated,
and the persons they had acquired in Haran,
and they set out for the land of Canaan.
When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land
as far as the sacred place at Shechem,
by the terebinth of Moreh.
(The Canaanites were then in the land.)
The LORD appeared to Abram and said,
“To your descendants I will give this land.”
So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.
From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel,
pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east.
He built an altar there to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name.
Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb.
This reading about our Father in Faith, Abraham, is combined with a wonderful Gospel today (Matthew 7:1-5 “the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you…”). At the age of 75, Abram was asked by God to leave his home country and everything dear to him. He was promised a great nation, numerous descendants and a dynasty. Abram had every right to be skeptical because he and Sarai (also old and barren) had no hopes to have children and start a new nation, yet he followed in faith, generosity and obedience.
Abram and Sarai had a son named Isaac, which means “he laughs”, because his parents laughed at the idea of having a son. Abram was then asked to sacrifice this son to God, and Abram followed in faith, generosity and obedience. Abram did not have to kill his son, but God saw how obedient Abram was willing to be.
God fulfilled all of His promises to Abram (who became Abraham). God fulfills all of His promises to us. Do we respond in faith, generosity and obedience? “The measure with which you measure out will be measured out to you….” When we are faithful, God is even more faithful. When we are generous, God is even more generous. When we are obedient, God blessed us beyond out wildest imagination.
We cannot outdo God in generosity, but I dare you to try. God asks us to give Him everything. In return He gives us everything. And His capacity to give is much greater than ours. Offer to the Lord all that you are and all that you have and watch what He does with it.