Genesis 1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
We stand here at the well-head of a great river-a narrow channel, across which a child can step, but which is to open out a broad bosom that will reflect the sky and refresh continents. The call of Abram is the most important event in the Old Testament, but it is also an eminent example of individual faith. For both reasons he is called ‘the Father of the Faithful.’ We look at the incident here mainly from the latter point of view. It falls into three parts.
1. The divine voice of command and promise. – God’s servants have to be separated from home and kindred, and all surroundings. The command to Abram was no mere arbitrary test of obedience. God could not have done what He meant with him, unless He had got him by himself. So Isaiah 51:2 put his finger on the essential when he says, ‘I called him alone.’ God’s communications are made to solitary souls, and His voice to us always summons us to forsake friends and companions, and to go apart with God. No man gets speech of God in a crowd. If you desired to fill a person with electricity, you used to put him on a stool with glass legs, to keep him from earthly contact. If the quickening impulse from the great magnet is to charge the soul, that soul must be isolated. ‘He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.’
The vagueness of the command is significant. Abram did not know ‘whither he went.’ He is not told that Canaan is the land, till he has reached Canaan. A true obedience is content to have orders enough for present duty. Ships are sometimes sent out with sealed instructions, to be opened when they reach latitude and longitude so-and-so. That is how we are all sent out. Our knowledge goes no farther ahead than is needful to guide our next step. If we ‘go out’ as He bids us, He will show us what to do next.
‘I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.’
Continue reading here … Alexander MacLaren Commentary