Our Call, Sojourn and Destiny
Hebrews 11:8-9 NKJV: 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. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country,
Hebrews 11:9 KJV: By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,
Hebrews 11:17-19 NKJV: By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
In this portion of scripture, we see three sections of God’s dealings with Abraham and incidentally all men:
1. The call
2. The sojourn
3. The destiny
Abram was called from Ur of the Chaldees at the age of 75 by God to a land he did not know but he responded to the call by faith: trust in God’s integrity to lead him aright.
Genesis 12:1, 6-7 NIV: The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
You will have to respond to God’s call to be born-again by faith even when you do not fully understand all that it means or involves: You just have to trust God to take care of you.
Abram sojourned in the land of promise by faith, but never received it as an inheritance as God promised in his life time: what a testimony of faith!
He trusted that God would fulfill His Word to his descendants even after his physical death. His faith in God was not just for temporal and material blessings alone but also for a spiritual and eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV: By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Even after Abraham died physically, he would still be living in fellowship with God and God would still be watching over His promise to his descendants to give them the land.
Luke 20:37-38 NIV: But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.“
God’s plan and purposes sometimes goes beyond one generation or man; Furthermore our faith in God should not be for this life alone but also for the life to come:
1 Corinthians 15:19 NIV: If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
Finally, Abraham fulfilled his destiny by having Isaac miraculously in his old age and willing giving him to God for a burnt offering.
Genesis 22:2, 6-8, 10-12 NKJV: Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
This laid a legal foundation for God to give His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of all of Abraham’s seed both physical and spiritual since Abraham was in a blood covenant with God:
Under the terms of the blood covenant, Abraham had agreed to give his only son for a burnt offering to God, so God was under legal obligation to give His only Son the Lord Jesus Christ as a sin offering for the benefit of Abraham and his seed.
In other words, the legal basis for the salvation of all humanity was laid by Abraham’s faith: he fulfilled his destiny that all the families of the earth were to be blessed through him:
Genesis 12:1, 3 NKJV: Now the LORD had said to Abram: 3 And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.“
John 3:16 NIV: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Galatians 3:29 NIV: If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
It is instructive to note that all men are called by God but not all respond to the call.
Proverbs 8:4 NIV: “To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
John 6:44-46 NIV: It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
Romans 1:18-20 NIV: The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Out of those who respond to the call some go back to the world during their sojourn; others die during their sojourn and never enter their destiny. Some enter their destiny and fulfill it.
It should be our highest ambition to answer God’s call, complete our sojourn and fulfill our destiny.
To do this God has given us the His written Word, the power of the Holy Spirit by which we can perfect the love of God in our lives. As we do this Satan will not be able to deceive, distract by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things (Mk. 4. 19); neither will he be able to touch us (1 Jn.5.18) by premature death and so stop us from fulfilling our destiny.
The lesson here is that we must answer God’s call on our lives by faith, walk or sojourn with Him by faith when it seems as if the promise of the destiny He has promised is still so far off: the lessons we learn during our sojourn will ultimately enable us to fulfill our destiny: to be conformed to the image of Jesus: doing the works He did and greater (Rom. 8.29, Jn. 14.12) in this life time (Mk. 10.29, 30)!