Connecting to the Larger Story
Sin, punishment, provision for a new start - time and again this had happened. People sinned, God punished them with the consequences of their actions, and then God provided for a new way forward. Following the flood of Noah's time, people once again flourished on the earth. They all gathered in Babel and attempted to build a great tower to reach into the heavens to show they were as great as God. God confused their language so that they could not understand each other and would spread out across the world as God had intended them to do. That's the sin and punishment part. This passage tells us of God's provision - a people chosen to unite all peoples under God's blessings.
Important to Note
1) God chose Abram (later renamed Abraham) and his wife Sarai (later Sarah) to become the parents of a great nation that would be a blessing to all the world. Abram, however, is first called to leave his home and journey to a new land that God promises to him. Being chosen by God is not about privilege but about having faith, giving up what we have, and serving God.
2) Abram and his family are blessed by God, but this blessing is not an end to itself. They are blessed so that they may become a blessing to others. Blessings from God are intended to spread blessings throughout the world.
3) Even after Abram sees the land promised to him, he continues to journey. His journeys will take him through trials in Egypt and eventually to a long life of waiting for even one son much less a great nation of descendants. It is only many years later in their old age that Abram and Sarai finally receive the promised child. God's promises are most often not for an immediate blessing but rather a greater one down the road. The journey to get there may be long and difficult, but the promise is sure.
Thoughts for Reflection
1) Have you ever felt chosen by God for service? What did you have to give up or leave behind?
2) What blessings from God have helped you to bless others?
3) Have you ever had to wait for a blessing from God? How does the journey prepare us for that blessing?