Daily Devotional Genesis 12:1–9
On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned more than 2,000 acres—including evangelist D. L. Moody’s Illinois Street Church. The fire caused Moody to reevaluate his life and ministry. It was during that critical season that God called Moody to preach the gospel to the world. Not long after, the evangelist embarked on a tour of the UK and Ireland, which fueled a great revival. Moody obeyed the Lord’s call, and God expanded his influence exponentially.
[Abram] built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
So far, we’ve seen that calling in Scripture can mean naming, an invitation to conversation, or worship. But throughout the Old and New Testaments, we also see that God sometimes calls specific people to a specific task at a specific time.
In Genesis 12, we find one of the first examples of God’s special call: His call on Abram. This calling came in the form of a direct command for Abram to leave his home and go to an undisclosed place. Following this call would require a significant measure of faith. But the call also came with a promise. God would bless Abram, make him a great nation, protect him, and bless all people through him.
Abram’s response to God’s call was immediate and unquestioning obedience, although the journey would be filled with obstacles, danger, and risk. When Abram arrived in Canaan—approximately 500 miles from his home —the Lord appeared to him again. This time, God gave Abram a more concrete vision: “To your offspring I will give this land” (v. 7).
So, Abram built an altar to the Lord, a visual declaration that he believed in God’s promise and would obey. Then he moved to Bethel and built another altar, where “he called [qara] on the name of the LORD” (v. 8).
>> As God calls His people in both general and specific ways, so His people call back to Him—in prayer and worship. It is a two-way conversation. In what ways have you experienced the reciprocal nature of God’s call?
Pray with Us
Thank You, God, for Your personal calling for each of us. May we find joy and blessing in following Your specific plan for each of us; may we encourage one another in our callings.