Abraham is called the friend of God – isn’t that amazing?! God considered him a friend. Do you want to know something even more amazing? God calls us His friend when we follow Him.
Abraham didn’t always follow God. He once lived a life without any thought of the one true God. He worshiped false gods, which are called idols. But God called him and asked Abraham to follow Him, and Abraham obeyed God.
Abraham followed God because he knew that this God was different than all of the false gods he had spent his life worshiping. He followed God because he knew that this God was the true God.
God told Abraham to leave his city of Ur, so Abraham headed out with his wife and his nephew Lot, servants, tents, and camels. He walked and he walked- not knowing where he was going, just trusting God. God had promised him a land and descendants and he was looking forward to both. His beloved wife, Sarah, had been unable to have a baby and they were looking forward to seeing God fulfill His promise.
One night while Abraham lay sleeping in his tent God came to talk to him again.
“Do not be afraid Abraham,” a loud, rich voice flooded Abraham’s dream.
“I am your shield, your very great reward.”
Abraham pulled his rough goat skin cloak a little closer as he thought on these words that had just stirred his nights slumber.
He knew this voice – he knew it well. This voice had called to him years before to leave everything.
That voice – that call – had been mysterious and yet comforting and assuring. This voice had once called him to leave it all and go somewhere. Somewhere unknown. Somewhere strange.
The part of a man that beats for something more; he knew he had found that when this voice called to him. How a clay pot, still damp and pliable, moves for its potter, this created being moved for his creator.
He had packed up his belongings and had set off across a vast, unsettled land. He had traveled far, and that land the voice had spoken of had not yet come to be. He collected riches and reputation, but waited with longing for that which had moved him.
And then these words; “I am your shield, your very great reward.”
God wanted Abraham to know of the spiritual wealth to be found in a personal relationship with God.
Abraham is told to stand outside his tent and the voice that spoke each star into existence lovingly tells this childless man to look up.
Look up, to the inky black night bejeweled in distant, sparkling white.
“Count the stars,” God urges.
Abraham stares, awestruck at the volume of stars. He had never quite noticed how many stars there were until his God told him to. As the weight of this responsibility starts to bear down on his shoulders God finishes His message; “Your offspring will be as numerous as the stars in the sky.”
That weight of responsibility dissolves into awe as he considers the magnitude of what his God had just promised him.
Then began a time of waiting – he had been promised thousands upon thousands of descendants and yet he still lacked one child. He knew an heir was coming, but he didn’t know when.