Reflecting On Abram Being Called Out of Ur – Blogging Through Our Sermon Series

I’m attempting to blog through our sermon series – you can listen to the message here. This post is based on last week’s message (10/2).

One of my favorite parts of the story of Abraham is among the most neglected of parts – the beginning. I find myself wondering what could have NOT been. Abram’s family is from Ur. Many sermons will mention that it was a pagan town that worshipped moon gods and such but I want to emphasize that it was also among the finer cities in the ancient world at the time. It was blessed with a solid population, wealth, a court system, libraries and culture off one of the tributaries of the Euphrates in Southern Turkey.

When we don’t understand the beauty and comfort of Ur, we’re stuck in thinking that God is calling Abram to move from one part of the desert to another, maybe one slightly nicer. When God calls Abram to leave his land and go towards Palestine, it’s a pretty big deal. These days I like to think of it as the equivalent of moving from say … Boston to a remote desolate part of a southern state where they had no wifi and where no bands ever made a stop at (won’t use any names so I’m not accused of being an arrogant Yankee).

We are in the habit of saying that Abram was an ordinary man. Indeed he was in these sense that he did not descend from royalty or have any connection to Noah. But it’s helpful for us to also understand that he was from a wealthy family, had a visionary seeking father in Terah (Rabbit Trail alert here: Did God call Abram or Terah? Terah actually starts the migration in 11:31. it’s in future passages like Acts 7:2 where the call is directed to Abraham. Why do I care? I just think it’s interesting that it seemed Terah was being obedient to God too).

Anyway, picture this, a young Abram driving around in a Range Rover that his dad gave him for finishing his MBA with honors. He’s living in an upper-middle class development nearby his father’s estate (which he purchased with the profits from a new website that specializes in finding the most efficient ways of distributing organic food products to places like Whole Foods and thousands of locally owned clean food stores.) He marries the young and beautiful Sarai who used to do a little modeling before majoring in Theater. And of course they met a Trader Joe’s. His temperament is optimistic, he’s fairly open-minded, loves to travel, and people like him.

They enjoy going to see bands like Coldplay and love flying into NYC to catch a Broadway show. And just before Abram was about to book a vacation to New Zealand, he feels the call of God to downsize and move to a remote desolate part of Arkansas. (I know i said I wouldn’t use names but the story works better this way. I would have picked another country but that sounded even snobbier. But this is what cross-cultural missionaries have to pray through).

Now the story gets much harder from here – offering his wife to the Pharaoh and then later to Abimelech, agreeing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God, going through the paperwork of getting his name changed from Abram to Abraham (I hear it’s a pain in the neck to get your name changed) and I’m stuck on the calling to move.

I know what some of you are thinking, “Umm, Is it because you just moved?” Not Really. Maybe. Probably. Yes.
But again, I think this part of the story is often neglected and I find myself wondering if we are hindering the work (and calling) of God because we aren’t willing to take the necessary first step? What is NOT happening … that could be?


  1. I’d just like to say that I enjoy reading your posts and thoughts. I’m going to try to comment more often but for now I just like reading.

  2. Thanks my friend – appreciate you reading. Hope all is well – feel free to drop a line via FB.

  3. The Slothful One says:

    Good one! I see you’re back in top form. Now lets get this blog moving again ;-D

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