Two words keep appearing in the biblical story of Abraham’s life: tents and altars. Each word helps to describe the commitment of Abraham. Abraham was not a kid. He had roots and he was established. The longer that our roots have been growing the less flexible we become. God asks Abraham to leave home. Leave as in go, move, get going. Yet there would be few words more charged with emotion than the word home. Most of us spend a great deal of energy and time either trying to get back home, or trying to get away from home. Notice how often in Scripture the call of God involves ‘going’. Actually the call of God for most involves Him sending us somewhere and someplace. Perhaps the sending is for a season of preparation, but many who follow the call are led to places they could never have imagined. Abraham the established one, was told he would live in tents. This was not to show that he had died out to things and was going back to nature and living simply. A tent for Abraham represents that he would be a transient, he would be following God and therefore must remain flexible. Flexible enough to pull up stakes and pack the tent and go to where ever God called Him. His security would no longer be in things or place. His security would be God Himself. I need to learn and relearn that lesson. My security does not come from what I have or what I may have achieved or accumulated. God is our source and security. Abraham’s tent needs to become a symbol for me of what it means to be flexible enough to pick up and move in whatever direction God has for me!
Altar. Where ever Abraham went he always built an altar. He was a worshipper. No matter where he lived, he worshipped, no matter what country, he worshipped. No matter if he understood everything, he worshipped. A follower of God must be a worshipper. There is no other response that is necessary or appropriate. To worship God is our privilege and honor.
If Abrahams testimony could be put in just two words, I would nominate these two: Tents and altars. Both describe his call from God and how it was worked out in his life. He not only heard Gods voice, he followed the God who speaks. When God speaks, obedience is the only viable response. The only response that must come from one who follows God is worship. Through out this still nearly new year. I want my life to be one of following and worshipping God.