Delayed Obedience

tumblr_lzw15b7cMP1r0j9r8o1_500And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran. (Genesis 11:31-32)

Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)

Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. One of the three, Shem, has a genealogy that proceeds all the way to Abram (later, Abraham) and eventually to Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-17).


Abram would become the friend of God, the progenitor of the nation of Israel, and the father of faith for Jews and Gentiles. Needless to say, Abram was a very important human being, with a colossal calling upon his life.

Because of God’s call upon his life, it was necessary for Abram to separate himself … he was commanded by God to remove himself from his immediate surroundings and culture (from Ur of the Chaldeans), and even from his own family. Nothing should get in the way of the LORD’s will for this man. Abram needed to belong wholly to the LORD. If Abram were not wholly His, he could not discover or fulfill God’s purposes. God would have to look elsewhere for a yielded vessel to use.

It is a curious thing, but important to notice, that Abram does not immediately obey the command to separate from his family and father’s house. Putting the Genesis history together with the history recorded in Acts 7:2-4, we discover that these promises and commands were given to Abram before he left the land of the Chaldeans. So when Abram waited for his father Terah to die before he left Haran, his obedience was a delayed obedience.

This delayed obedience could have cost Abram dearly, but because God is faithful, merciful, and gracious, His promises to this man remained intact. For God, delayed obedience is better than no obedience at all (see Matthew 21:28-31a).

For Further Review

1.  Have you discovered God’s call upon your life? If not, what will you need to do in order to discover it?

2.  How important is it to you that God has placed a call upon your life? What hindrances have you discovered that threaten to keep you from God’s best for your life?

3.  Is there anything that God has commanded you to do that you’ve not yet obeyed? Name it, admit it to God, and then ask Him for wisdom and strength that you might do it. For greater accountability, share these things with a mentor, relative, or friend.

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