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Daily Devotional

January 10


by Henry T. Vriesen

Genesis 11–12

After the confusion of languages the people scattered abroad on the earth. They turned away from God and became heathen. In every country where they lived they had some kind of worship. Some worshipped the sun, the moon and the stars. Others made themselves idols of wood, iron or stone and worshipped them. And because they refused to obey God, he permitted them to go their own ways.

But God in those days chose one man, a descendant of Shem, saved him from destruction and revealed to him his will. The name of this man was Abram or Abraham. He lived at Ur in Chaldea. The name of his father was Terah. Abram did not worship the moon god as his neighbors did. He believed in the true God, as Abel, Enoch and Noah did. One day Abram heard the voice of God calling him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and will bless thee; and thou shalt be a blessing; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

Abram obeyed. He did not know to which land he was to go, but he knew it was God, the living God, that directed him. So he took his father Terah, his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot on a long journey. They came to Haran in Mesopotamia, where they stayed for some time. Here Terah died. Abram with his wife and nephew moved far to the southwest. Having the rugged and high mountains to their right and the great desert to their left, they traveled on and on across rivers, through valleys, over hills—every day farther from their homeland. We do not know how many days and weeks passed by until they reached the land of Canaan, which was the land of which God had spoken.

Here were a few cities and villages of the Canaanites. Abram and his people did not go into the towns, but they pitched their tents on the hills or plains, wherever they could find good grass for their cattle and sheep. Not far from Shechem they set up their tents under a big oak tree. There the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, “Unto thy children will I give this land.” And Abram built there an altar. He made an offering and worshipped the Lord, he and his household. He loved God and believed his promises. He was a wealthy man with herds and flocks. At one time, when a famine came, Abram and his people went to Egypt, where they may have seen the great river Nile and the pyramids. They did not remain long in Egypt. When the famine ended, they returned again to the land of Canaan.

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