“’Went’ (wayyelek) is an unadorned, almost nonchalant response, corresponding to the imperative of the same word in 12:1, “go” (lek). It is as though everything in the text has been stripped away in order to reveal just how perfectly Abram’s obedience matches Yahweh’s command.”
Genesis, by Bill T. Arnold
Dear Grace Family,
Strange title to a sermon, eh?
I love Bill Arnold’s commentary on the Hebrew word for "And he went" in Genesis 12:4. The LORD says, “Go”, and Abram immediately “Went”. So simple and clear in contrast to the disobedience of everyone who preceded him, Abram and his household set out in obedience to the command to go and leave kindred, family, and country.
The artist Donnie McClurkin poses the same question you and I are faced with every day of our lives—will we trust Lord? Will we receive what God has for us? Will we lay down our very preferences, plans, and purposes at His feet? Rather than build a monument to his own great name, (see the conceit of Babel in Genesis 11:4), Abram trusts the One who will make His name great among the Nations.
Instead of organizing his life around his own commitments or the expectations of others, Abram obeys with simple faith in a complex situation this week. He is to enter a foreign land being a witness to his strange neighbors, a guest in the land he must wander about in tents, and before even receiving the Promise he worships YHWH, building a monument to God’s great Name. Amazing!
I am arrested by this idea of Abram setting up monuments to YHWH—making it known that God is the center of his life and praise. Making it known that the legacy of his life is that of the greatness and goodness of God! It reminds me of the song “Only What You Do For Christ Will Last” sang skillfully by Kim Burrell. This is what Abram is remembered for, it will be what we truly pass on to our “seed” as well, (Gen 12:7).
My prayer for myself and each of you is that we may build our lives as a testament to the LORD, rather than a legacy of being a great student, neighbor, parent, daughter, son, employee—or all around good and decent person.
Let us wawyelek, obeying His command and conduct ourselves as a monument to God’s great Name! We do this because He has been faithful, for Christ Himself obeyed the will of the Father so that we might be saved—how can we not do the same (Ps 40:6-8)? We will look into all these things and more this Sunday. Looking forward to worshipping with you in person and remotely.
This Sunday: Genesis 12:1-9
Here is the Order of Worship, the Children's Order of Worship is available on location, Sunday morning.
May God bless you real good, so that you can be a blessing to others!
P.S. We will continue to hold in-person worship and livestream this week at 10:30 AM. As we mentioned previously, masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated folks. Pre-register for nursery here.