Hebrews 11:8 reads, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (NKJV). Now let’s read Genesis 12:1-4a: “Now the LORD said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him.” We read here of the beginning of Abraham’s “faith” and his walk with God. I have always admired the simplicity of this story, for God COMMANDED Abram to leave his country and family, and he OBEYED. We are told in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Abraham is a marvelous example of this, for he heard the voice of God and faith sprang up in his heart. And when there is FAITH, it will always be manifested by OBEDIENCE.

Let me ask you a question, “Would you be willing to leave your country and family, and everything else that you are familiar with, if God told you to?” I’m quite sure Abram had thoughts racing through his mind as he entertained God’s command. Perhaps he thought of all his relatives and friends and wondered if he would ever see them again. He may have thought of his job, his love of country, and many other facets of the only life he ever knew. In other words, he COUNTED THE COST of obeying God. But in the end, God’s Word was so compelling to him, with its wonderful promises to make him the father of a great nation and a blessing to the whole world, that “he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Again, would we obey such a call if God commanded us to do it?

Besides the great promises that were given to Abram, there is another “attraction” that led Abram to forsake all that he ever knew. In Acts 7:2-3 we read, “And he [Stephen] said, ‘Brethren and fathers, listen: The GOD OF GLORY APPEARED TO OUR FATHER ABRAHAM when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you’.” Abram was privileged to see “the God of glory!” We aren’t told exactly what he saw, but we know he saw a glory that eclipsed everything he had ever seen. All the so-called “glories” of this world faded away like the dew with the rising of the sun. Perhaps he had an experience like Saul of Tarsus who was struck down on the Damascus road when “a light shone around him from heaven” (Acts 9:3). Saul knew that he had seen the Lord, for verse 5 says he fell to the ground and said, “Who are You, Lord?” When he testified later of his amazing experience he said, “I could not see for the glory of that light” (Acts 22:11). God’s glory literally blinded him and I believe Abram’s sight of the “God of glory” caused the same reaction; though he was not literally blind his heart was not so occupied with the God of glory that everything else receded from his memory and compelled him to obey God’s command.

It is interesting that Stephen began his “history lesson of the nation of Israel” by referring to the God of glory, for his story ends on that same note. We read these precious words in Acts 7:55, “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the GLORY OF GOD, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” It was this vision of God’s glory and of His Savior that gave him the strength to pray for his persecutors who were stoning him to death. Dear fellow-believer, I believe this is exactly what we need to see. Like Abraham and Stephen, we need see the “God of glory” and this will enable us to obey whatever He commands us. Of course, we won’t have a vision of His glory with our physical eyes, but with the “eye of faith.” Hebrews 2:9 speaks of this: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angles, for the suffering of death CROWNED WITH GLORY and honor.” If the eye of faith in resting on Him, we will join the apostle John in saying, “We BEHELD HIS GLORY, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). (230.3) (DO)