EHP Day 13-Daily Worship & Proclamation
Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the LORD.
If you take the time to read from Genesis 12:1, you understand the pioneering spirit within the father of our faith (cf. Rom.4:11-12). An eager reader longs for additional detail. How did God first appear to Abram? How could Abram – for years (presumably) worshiping pagan deities – be certain the true God filled his heart’s ears with directives? Since Abram left his home and culture not knowing where he was going (cf. Heb.12:8), in what way(s) did God provide the dayby-day vector?
Impressive is what Abram did when God finally put up the “Welcome Home!” banner. Abram built altars each place God appeared to him and spoke. The first the Oak of Moreh (12:6-7; must have been an impressive tree!). A new place of worship in the midst of thousands of godless Canaanites. The second between Bethel and Ai, near his tent (12:8).
Even more impressive is the final phrase in vs. 8: “…and called upon the name of the Lord.” Years ago, my Hebrew language teacher offered an insight. “This called upon can also be translated declared.” Significance? Abram’s worship was not merely for his own personal enrichment. Likely Abram was introducing his Canaanite neighbors to the LORD—to Yahweh—the personal, unique name of God emphasizing both His promise-keeping and His desire for relationship. The LORD had kept his promise to Abram; He and Abram were in relationship.