Follow Me: Where is the City?

One Seed

One Seed

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 12[1]

For more than fifteen years[2], Abram knew about the city God is building and that God wanted to bless him and make him a blessing to all families of the earth. According to the Chronological Bible, Abram left Haran on April 5, 1892 and arrived in Canaan April 15, 1892. For fifteen years, Abram was a mere ten day journey from an encounter with God. He was so close to God and yet so far for so long.

Abram arrived in Canaan looking for God’s city but that is not what he found. God appeared to him a second time and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”[3] Land! Where is the city built on God’s wisdom and justice? The city humanity tried to build in the plains of Shinar without God. God stopped them from finishing the city. If they had succeeded anything they imagined would be possible. God had promised to give Abram the city where the impossible is possible when he was living in Ur of the Chaldees. Abram finally obeyed God only to learn the city didn’t exist.

Put yourself in Abram’s sandals. What good did it do to obey God? It appeared God had played a game of bait and switch. There was no city and Sarai was expecting a permanent home. How will Abram explain to Sarai there is only some land already occupied by the Canaanites? And the news gets worse. God promised to give that land to their offspring not to Abram and Sarai. Sarai had been barren all of her life. She is now past the age of bearing children. God cannot keep a promised contingent on them having offspring.

I can imagine conflicting emotions erupting in Abram. He may have been angry that following God had made him look like a fool to his family. What kind of God promises something than snatches it away by making it impossible to fulfill. He may have been filled with regret. If he had obeyed God sooner, when Sarai was thirty or even forty, she might have become pregnant. But now it was too late.

If I were Abram, I would have returned to Haran. Had Terah, Abram’s father, still been alive Abram might have returned home. At this point in his life he has nothing to go back to. Abram not only stayed in Canaan, he built an altar and worshiped God.

God may have told Abram more than the brief sentence recorded in Genesis Chapter 12. In the King James Bible God said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land…” The Apostle Paul explained that God preached the gospel to Abram. You can’t preach the gospel without preaching Jesus. When God told Abram he would give the land to “thy seed”, God only had one seed in mind.

The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)

Abram may have had in mind being a VIP in God’s city, but that would have only blessed Abram. God intended to bless Abram and make him a blessing to all families by making him the father of our faith.

 

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] In Stephen’s defense before the High Priest he stated that God appeared to Abram in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran. There is no indication of Abram’s age at this first appearance. Abram could have known about God’s intentions for his life as long at 30 years or even longer. Acts 7:2

[3] Genesis 12:7

About Teena Myers

Teena is the Vice Chairman of the Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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