“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)
Genesis 11:31 tells us that Abraham’s father, Terah, set out for Canaan from Ur of the Chaldeans long before Abraham made a similar trip. But for some reason, Terah stopped in Harah and never continued his journey. Did Terah receive an original call from God . . . but neglect to follow through? We don’t know.
We do know that Abraham never made such a mistake. Although he made other leadership errors, Abraham always seemed to follow through on his commitments. When God called him to depart to an unknown land, he went the distance. When enemies abducted Lot and his goods, Abraham pursued the kidnappers and subdued them (Genesis 14:14-16). When commanded to circumcise the males of his household, Abraham did it that very day (Genesis 17:23). And when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, only a last-second angelic intervention spared the young man’s life (Genesis 22:1-9). No wonder that God, the Ultimate Leader, called Abraham, “My friend” (Isaiah 41:8)!