In Genesis 12:1 God gave Abraham a set of demands which, if Abraham followed, he would separate himself unto God. Yesterday we dealt with the first demand, “Get thee out of thy country.” Today we will speak on the second demand.
SECOND DEMAND: “Get thee… from they kindred…”
Why did God require Abraham to move away from his family? Would that not bring discontent to Abraham? I think not for these reasons. (1) After believing God Abraham’s relationship with his lost family became strained like it does with Christians today. (2) Abraham had been told by the God of his faith to go elsewhere. I believe Abraham knew it was all for the best.
It might have been difficult for Abraham to faithfully serve the Lord while remaining with his lost family. Abraham’s family worshipped false gods and God wanted a people who would worship Him alone. A lost family can be a real hindrance to serving God. Following are some insightful statements spoken by Jesus about family opposition to Christians.
“For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:35-37
What did Jesus mean when he said that He came to put family members at odds with one another? This is not a mystery to Christians. Jesus was iterating the truth that those who came to faith in Him will of necessity be spiritually divided from the lost members of the family. This will cause friction in the family. I have experienced it and no doubt you have.
Jesus took the divided family situation further by saying “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” A foe is one who hatefully opposes you. A lost family member is not always a foe but Jesus inferred that foes can and will arise within a believer’s own family. Jesus knew well the truth of that assertion. Judas Iscariot was a real foe to Jesus and betrayed Him to those who crucified Him. See Psalm 41:9
Jesus’ last statement in Matthew 10:37 could easily be misconstrued if not interpreted properly. It almost sounds like we are not to love our father, mother or other family members. That is not so. The point Jesus is making is a Christian is not to permit family members to interfere or prevent them from following and serving Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not first in a Christian’s life he/she is not worthy of Him, so said Jesus.
Yes, God demanded Abraham to “Get thee…from thy kindred (family).” I think many Christians have failed to follow and serve Jesus Christ as they should have because they failed to separate from their family.
Next time we will investigate God’s third demand for Abraham which, if he followed, would separate himself unto God. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU