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Read: Genesis 12:1-9

“Father Abraham” is the first of the ancient Patriarchs. Even today when Christians and Jews look back at the early beginnings of God’s people we speak of “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” – remembering the first three patriarchs in this faith saga. It is with Abram and Sarai that the promise of God begins and a covenant people is begun. In the coming weeks we will look into the lives of these two people whom the Bible commends for their faith.

Abram and Sarai are asked by God to leave behind their homeland in Ur (a city in what is now the country of Iraq), and allow God to lead them to a land that is promised to them and to their descendants. Descendants? Yes, God has promised that their long-standing dream of having a child of their own will come true, and that their progeny will eventually form a great nation. This nation will be God’s chosen people in the world.

It must have seemed like a dream to them; is this really happening? We don’t know very much about Abram and Sarai and their lives in Ur. We do know that they answered God’s call, packed up their possessions, herds, and servants, and headed in the direction that Abram was feeling led. They trusted God.

In carefully reading Genesis we will also see another pattern emerge. When this group of travelers arrived at a site in the land that God had promised, the first thing that they did was to set up a place acknowledging that it was God had led them to this place. They knew that their path was a spiritual journey and they repeatedly recognized God first. Abram and Sarai were counting their blessings and giving thanks for the ways that God had guided them and had provided for them.

Gratitude – giving thanks to God – is the key to understanding the reason Abram and Sarai were commended for their faith. When we learn to identify and give thanks for what God had provided, we get even better at seeing the many blessings of God in life. When we readily give thanks to God the dialogue continues, and grows, and gratitude becomes the strong foundation of faith.

Shalom,
Pastor Rob Nystrom