Abram’s call

07 abrams call

From Shem’s family line, the Semites, came a man named Abram of Ur in Babylonia. He and his wife, Sarai, lived with his father’s tribe in Haran.

God told Abram to leave his father’s family and to head south. He said, “You’re going to be a great nation. You’ll be blessed, renowned, and you’ll be a blessing. Anyone who blesses you will be blessed, and anyone who curses you will be cursed. Because of you, every family in the world will have reason to celebrate.”

Abram took God at his word. When he was seventy-five years old, he packed his bags and loaded up his household, his nephew Lot, their livestock, and all the servants they had acquired in Haran.

Traveling through Canaan, they stopped at Moreh Grove in Shechem. God appeared to Abram and said, “This will be the land of your children.”

Abram had no children and knew his wife was barren, but he believed the promise and built an altar to God anyway.

Abram moved on a little further south into the hill country and pitched a tent. He built another altar and called on the name of God. From there, he and his small band of travelers continued due south.

Inspiration: Genesis 10-12; I Chronicles 1

Trumped tower

06 trumped tower

Noah was a farmer with a vineyard.

One day he got drunk and passed out on the floor of his tent, stark naked. Noah’s youngest son, Ham, discovered his father and promptly ridiculed his undignified condition in the company of his two brothers.

Shem and Japheth took a robe, walked into their father’s tent backward, and with their heads turned away, they covered the unconscious man.

Later, when Noah found out what Ham had done, he cursed Ham’s future lineage. “Your son Canaan will be a slave to Shem and Japheth.”

God’s curse didn’t end with Canaan either. Ham’s grandson, the mighty warrior Nimrod, was the chief architect of the Babel project in Babylonia, not to mention he was the founder of Nineveh, a city with problems we’ll deal with later.

In Babel, the locals decided to build a great city, and at its epicenter, construct a mud-bricked tower of record-breaking heights.

This was an affront to God’s purpose. When God had told the people to go populate the whole earth, he meant business. Instead, everyone seemed hell bent on settling a tiny plot of real estate, grasping at heaven atop a grotesquely ornate high-rise.

God saw the people were determined, tech savvy, and unified in their endeavor. The fact that every engineer and worker on the project spoke the same language meant they’d likely accomplish their goal of autonomy and power.

So God personally descended, caused vernacular confusion, and scattered them across the earth.

The tower construction was ultimately abandoned and the people recontinued their migration to the four corners as God intended.

Inspiration: Genesis 9, 11