The most important passage in Genesis, and arguably the most valuable in the entire Bible, is Genesis 12:1-3. Like most truth from God, this is the hinge of faith in God’s revealed covenant. It will either direct your steps or disenchant you.
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant” (Psalm 25:14).
Abram has just received an incredible promise from God! He would be the father of nations, the entire world would be blessed through him. God was going to make this no-name guy, Abram, a great name. One chapter earlier in the Bible’s historical account, people were trying to make a great name for themselves attempting to display their preeminence to God by building a tower in Babel. Abram, who had not done anything of merit recorded in history, had been selected by God.
Early in Abram’s pilgrimage he had to learn about faith. If GOd made such a blessed promise, then why did Abram fear the Egyptians? The fear of man is a snare and what a trap Abram found himself in! The embarrassing chastisement from Pharaoh sent Abram back to what he knew was reliable–communion with God at Bethel. This fellowship with God was where he belonged all the time. He had learned the mistake of choosing practical provision (Egypt during a famine) over divine dependence (Bethel). Sadly, Lot did not learn the lesson and pitched his tent toward Sodom. The practical provision won in Lot’s life and it lead to tragedy. Eventually, Abram risked his welfare and fought on the behalf of a wicked king and city in order to deliver his nephew. Abram’s dependence developed to such a level that he wanted none of the wealth of Sodom.
“O my God, I trust in thee” (Psalm 25:1). David knew what it was like to put full confidence in God, but he also knew His tender mercies and loving kindness have been ever of old. When David had turned to practical provision and found shelter from Saul with the Philistines, the enemies of God’s people, he experienced tragedy. In the face of extreme circumstances, the Bible records, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
This is not a lesson we only learn once. It is a daily discipline. Trust in God when you are tempted to go a direction which takes you from his presence. Trust in God when you are tempted to “help” Him accomplish His promise to you. Only trust Him!