Building Altars–Genesis 12 Part 3

 While some would argue that building altars to God at memorable points in their journey was silly, Abram and his family did spiritually two of the most important things one can do in their faith–worship and remember.  When one builds an alter, it not only signifies the importance of the place…it also marks the allegiance to the one true God.  That was a critical thing in Canaan.  The people had long ago abandoned the God that delivered their Ancestor Ham.  They moved on to self worship and then to fashioning all manners of God’s to signify the things that were important–the sun, the harvest, intimacy and fertility, food, power and eternity–they grew to need things to touch and see in order to be secure in their control of their lives and their future.

Little has changed, We still need to build altars to significant points in our faith.  our submission to God, our covenant of marriage, our dedication of our kids to the Lord each deserve a permanent reminder that He is God and we are His.  The world places altars everywhere–stadiums, theaters, malls and endless other tributes to the illusion that men somehow have things under control.  Their altars almost certainly fail them–as control by men is sadly impossible.  But those that follow the Lord and allow him to lead and control their journey, leave altars all along th4e way as reminders that their lives and families are and will be his to control.  Help me Lord to remove the altars I have built as tributes to me and the world, but, also help me to worship at the altars I have built to honor you.

God Bless You

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev

Faith at its Best–Genesis 12 part 2

Abram moved forward—He went into Canaan simply because God told him to.  Once he moved forward, God promised him all the land he could imagine would be his.  Abram kept moving into the land simply trusting God to provide all he promised.

That is the essence of faith.  When we walk in a way that is simply trusting God even though we do not know what lies ahead, he cannot help but want to bless us and exceed our expectations.  The wonder he creates and the promises he exceeds are the greatest banners to his majesty he can provide.  When we fail to trust him we take away his opportunity to do wonders.  So when we walk, we walk trusting him to give him the opportunity to bless us mightily.

God Bless You 

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

Abram Went as the Lord told Him–Genesis 12 Part 1

It really can be that simple. God directs and we follow.  God told Abram to go to Canaan, as he had told Abram’s father Terah.  Without hesitation or delay, Abram gathered his family and his stuff and headed out on a journey that would change Humanity from then on.  Abram left with a promise–I will make you a great nation!  What an awesome legacy, and it started with obedience.

In our lives, we are faced daily with the opportunity to simply trust God and follow his  lead.  Trust me, while it is simple, it certainly is not easy! as one reads about the life of Abram, it is obvious his simple trust in God was rarely easy.  The amazing quality of life and the legacy Abram was able to leave, far outweighs the trials and sadness he faced.

We have to walk the journey as Abram did–Always trusting God. When we do, we will live a life that is full, meaningful and bigger than ourselves and greater than we could imagine.  Never give up and never give in–walk as Abram in the path God lays out!

God Bless You

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.[a]
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”[b]

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Almost, But Not Quite–Genesis 11 Final

What do we know about Terah?  Oh, he was Abram’s Dad…The sad news is that he was the first man called to Canaan! He scooped up his little family and left Ur–on his way to Canaan.  But somewhere along the journey, he decided to stop in Harran.  Don’t get me wrong–Harran was a nice place, it just wasn’t where God was leading him and his family.  It was a convenient sidetrack that stopped his journey.

So many of God’s chosen take off on the journey the father calls them to and in the midst of it get sidetracked and rendered ineffective. Work, kids, illness, and a host of little foxes enter our lives and nip at us.  We then wake up at AARP + years and wonder where the time went and why did we lose our vision.  God says–its OK! Start a new vision today.  Read the word, pray continually and seek ways to serve.  You may have missed Canaan, but you do not have to miss God!!!

God Bless You

This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran

The Tower–Genesis 11 part 1

We simply do not need God anymore…that was the message from the tower of Babel. They all spoke the same language, they could manufacture and build for themselves.  They had become great hunters and gatherers. Simply put, there was nothing they could not do.  So, God had to mix things up—he did so by confusing the language and spreading the world and its folks apart.  From then on, men would be more concerned with competing with each other than with competing with God.

Well in the 21st century after our Savior came, we are at the point the men of Babel were at.  We are no longer separated by language or space.  The internet provides instant communication across the globe.  The human genome project allows us to understand and alter the human body to end disease and death, technology like the private space travel consortiums will make travel quick and easy across the globe.  Once again, men think that they do not need God any more.

History has taught us that from that point, men start spiraling out of control and destroy themselves.  Only those that remain humble and following God and his plan survive and succeed.  We must return to the place where we allow God to be God.  It seems like the independence is great, but we simply entrap ourselves in the mess we make. God says, ”If my people will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways and seek my face—I will hear their prayers, restore them and heal their lands!” We do not have to return to an Amish society model, but we do have to quit trying to lead and simply follow God’s plan.

God Bless You

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

The Families of Noah–Genesis 10

After the flood, The world started again and as Noah’s sons expanded in the land, they spread across the world and built the nations.  As the world expanded, so did the attitudes and cultures of each of the brothers.  It was amazing how the lineages began to take on an attitude about God.  When Ham was cursed by Noah after the flood, the resentment and rebellion was passed on and became a general hatred for all things that related to God.  That was the beginning of idol worship and self absorption that caused the great divisions among the families.

In our time, we still see the vestiges of the early cultures.  Historical records from all cultures all recount a flood tradition, and the attitudes and beliefs still are apparent. Despite the cultural predisposition, though we all still have the choice to follow God.  Each of us makes a daily choice to trust him, or to trust ourselves.  In that choice we shape our lives and the lives of our kids and generations to come.  What a huge responsibility.  That is why Joshua–the leader of Israel so many hundreds of years later said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”

God Bless You

This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.

The Japhethites

The sons[a] of Japheth:

Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras.

The sons of Ham:

Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan.

Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was[h] Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber.

22 The sons of Shem:

Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.