The top of page six of Walter Brueggemann’s “The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith” says: “The Genesis narratives in a stark way present the radical demand of God that the way of faith requires leaving a land and accepting landlessness as a posture of faith.”
If land represented security and identity, and God was asking ol’ Abe to leave what security, wealth, prosperity, peace, and identity he had in Ur at the time…
…what could that mean for us/me?
If I reflect personally, I can see that my leaving home to live in Pasadena and attend Fuller full-time was something like that – it was freaking scary! (Could have been more scary, but perhaps the Lord knew just how freaked out I was and sent me Vicky and Christi’s way )
What I didn’t know or understand at the time was that God wasn’t just asking Abram to leave Ur just to leave and show his faith in God, but the Lord had a plan for Abram to become Abraham, the father of a multitude, or many nations, and to inherit a very fruitful land! And when babies = cash & social security (my attempt at The Message-esque theologizing), and land = ultimate security, identity, belonging, and legacy…it really sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it??
I kinda got that in Sunday School though. The part that’s newer for me is that God didn’t just want to prosper Abram, a descendant of Adam, the first man God had chosen, and fulfill His promises (thus glorifying Himself? Dunno how to use logic appropriately here..), but He wanted Abram to JOURNEY with Him so He could reveal Himself to Abram and through this one really adventurous, obedient, risk-taking guy, extend His blessing to all the nations of the earth (that they might all come into the knowledge of God and live in His ways, and possibly also into the covenant and inheritance?)!!! Having Abram leave the security of his home in Ur was the precondition for Abram’s entering into a sojourn of encountering God again and again, learning God’s ways, and experiencing the faithfulness and presence of God via personal interactions, challenges met, failures forgiven, lessons learned, guidelines given, and most importantly (at least) for Abram, the fulfillment of promises.
For me, it’s always been the relationship, the presence of God that I’ve longed for…obviously, the security would be great, and identity is something I’m constantly searching for (especially being in my 20s), but it’s the very journey WITH God, LED by God, and TOWARDS God that I’m in it for…I’d rather be loved and not know who I am or where I came from, than know who I am but not be loved…the identity, purpose, and promise I desire is being God’s beloved….!!!!
Lord, I love you and I want to understand Your Word better so I can know You more, obey you better, and love You even more…until it truly does consume me.
I don’t need the land or lots of kids, sheep, or vineyards, I just want You.
(Hahaha…except for the spiritual land, kids, sheep, and fruitful vineyards, b/c those are part of the relationship with God, obeying Him, living in His ways, and knowing/loving Him.)
***Very emo “theological” reflection here. Forgive my naivete, lack of depth, and/or amateurism/immaturity. Just trying to process it through my efF, b/c all this T is putting me to sleep!***
(I hope I’ll be able to confess like this when it’s time to leave my new Ur, Fuller. I’m pretty comfortable & secure here!!! Just let me be Your side, Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)