Walk 5 – Read Genesis Chapters 12 through 14. The Theme is: Abram’s call revealed; journey to and in Canaan; the rescue of Lot; and the appearance of Melchizedek to Abram.
Call of Abram
Because I want to live a life of faith in the promises of God my interpretation of the live of Abram is colored by that desire. I do not think this is wrong. Abram is held up as an example of faith because he believed God is spite of circumstances. I see the story of Abram as part of God’s redemption narrative.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12: 1)
God gave the above call to Abram while he still resided in Ur of the Chaldeans. The tense in 12: 1 particularly is important. “Had said,” seems to indicate that Abram had heard this call but only partially obeyed. He left his country, and in the larger view, his people; but his father and the entire household journeyed with him.
Journey to Canaan
One needs to make a decision in the midst of facts that seem to contradict. The facts are: Terah died at 205, Abram left Haran at 75, Terah became a father at the age of 70, Terah’s son Haran died in Ur before they left, Stephen (in Acts 7) states both that Abram heard God call before they left and that Abram continued his journey after the death of his father.
Abram’s story is that he heard God’s call to go to Canaan and persuaded his father and household to accompany him. His father, Terah was 130 when Abram was born and when they arrived in Haran, the name of the city very similar to the son who had died in Ur, Terah took that as a sign they had gone far enough. Abram honored his father by staying until Terah’s death and then continued to Canaan. Taking his brother Haran’s son, Lot, with him was another act of partial obedience. He would finally learn to fully obey.
Rescue of Lot
Both Abram and Lot prospered and their herds became too large to travel together. Lot chose to pitch his tents near Sodom because of the rich grazing. He was captured in local warfare and rescued by Abram. These were some of the consequences of partial obedience.
The writer of Hebrews says of Melchizedek, “Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.” (Hebrews 7: 3) Certainly a Christ-like figure if not the appearance of pre-incarnate Christ. The entire scene of Abram giving tithes; of Abram receiving blessing from Melchizedek; and of Melchizedek bringing out bread and wine is a powerful prophetic event. God is the One who brings about the redemption narrative. He does the work; we fit into His plans and purpose. God is declared both Creator and Deliverer my Melchizedek:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” (Genesis 14: 19, 20)