“So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.” (Genesis 12:4)
Abram was born in the city of Ur of the Chaldees, which today is in the nation of Iraq. His father Terah led their entire family to migrate to Haran which is part of Turkey today. While in Haran the Lord spoke to Abram and called him to leave his land, his relatives, and his father’s house and go to a land He would show him, with the promise that God would make Abram a great nation.
“So Abram went.” This is a great statement of faith. It was an amazing faith.
If this were to happen today, however, many might call it something else. They might call it a “mental breakdown” or a “schizoid break with reality.” Some would see it as emotional instability. They might say things like, “Abram, are you crazy? You think God actually spoke to you and told you to leave your only real hope for prosperity and go wandering around like a vagabond in a place you’ve never even seen? And God is somehow going to make you a great nation? Don’t you realize that you’re jeopardizing the safety of your family? This is sheer insanity!”
What makes this faith and not insanity, and why was it faith rather than insanity?
We could always argue from the viewpoint of current results and show that the promises of God were fulfilled for Abram, thus confirming faith, but faith after the fact is then fact. Faith is only faith before the fact, not after.
The nature of faith is believing some thing or some one without seeing everything. Faith is a personal response of belief to a partial picture or promise. Abram believed in his mind and heart he had been in the presence of God, and that God spoke to him clearly. Faith is taking a risk that what you experience with God through His word in your personal walk with Him is truth and reality that calls for the action of obedience.
What made this faith and not insanity is the relationship, which was characterized by trust and love. Those who challenge faith itself simply deny its validity, claiming that it has no basis in fact or reality. Those who champion faith experience its reality through personal relationship with the God who created us.
Lord, We recognize that we walk by faith, not by sight, and we do so because we trust You and love You. Amen.