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B'resheet/Genesis 12:1 "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house..." (CJB)
This is the moment when G-d speaks to Avram and challenges him to pick up the call on his life and set out to prove G-d and to prove himself. As we know, Avram is obedient to G-d's call and after arranging his affairs, travels from Haran to the land of Kena'an, taking his wife, his nephew and all their possessions and servants.
The first two words of our reading, undistinguishable in the consonantal text , tell us something quite critical. The first comes from the verb , in the imperative, and means "Go!"; the second is the prefix preposition combined with the 2nd person singular pronoun ending and means literally "to/for you". So G-d is telling Avram, "Go, for yourself!" In other words, G-d is telling Avram that he must leave home because he, Avram, needs to, for his own sake.
Rashi suggests that Avram is told to go "for your pleasure and your benefit", almost as if both words meant "for you". Many things that we do in this life are either pleasurable or beneficial, but not both, while some are neither. But this leaving home is both necessary and appropriate: a moving on, a moving into blessing.
Right back in the garden, G-d told Adam, "A man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (B'resheet 2:24, NASB). Yeshua echoed that when He was questioned about divorce in Matthew 19:5.
But leaving home is not necessarily an easy thing to do, as G-d pointed out to Avram: "leave your country, your family and your father's house." Obeying G-d is often something that appears to have a significant cost attached as Avram is about to find out. He has to leave his familiar surroundings and environment to be a stranger, a foreigner; he has to leave the extended family network to do everything himself; he has to leave his position of authority as the heir in the family hierarchy and establish his own authority as head of his own household.
Yeshua challenges us in the same way when He says, "The foxes have holes, and the birds flying about have nests, but the Son of Man has no home of His own" (Luke 9:58, CJB). There comes a time in each of our lives when we simply have to abandon everything in order to follow Yeshua; we just have to get up and go!
Further Study: Luke 9:23-25
Application: Is G-d speaking to you about something in your life at the moment ? Is He calling you to put something down and move on with Him ? Ask G-d to confirm it to you once more and then delay no further.
© Jonathan Allen, 2003
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