Many years had gone by since the Great Flood (over three hundred). Through Noah's son, Shem, ten generations were born (this means that Shem had children, and his children grew up and had children, and those children grew up and had children...ten times). It is not clear how many people were still serving the Lord at this time, but once again the majority of the world had turned from God. They started sinning, and began doing the things they wanted to do, and they forgot about God.
The Bible tells us that even Shem's great, great, great...(nine times) grandson, Terah, had come to accept the worship of false gods, and lived in a place where people did not love the true God. Apparently Terah had at least one son, however, whose heart still sought the Lord. It was this son, Abraham, that God called out and decided to bless. "I want you to leave this place," God said. "Leave your family and head toward a place that I will show you, and I will bless you."
Now Abraham had a wife, Sarah, and they were apparently taking care of their nephew, Lot (Lot was the son of Abraham's brother that had died). Imagine Abraham going to his Father and saying, "Dad, we shouldn't be in this place, and all these people are worshiping false gods. The true God, Jehovah, spoke to me and said we need to leave." And then imagine him telling Lot, "I know you have grown up here, and I know you are happy, but we are going to have to pack up everything we own and get out of here." Both Abraham's dad and Lot surely asked "Where are you moving?" Abraham had to say "I really don't know." He no doubt got the same response any of us would get if we told people that we were moving but didn't know where we were going, "Are you crazy?!" That is always how it goes when you do something by faith.
So, let me tell you what I think this story means for us today. You see, we live in a wicked world. Even most of the people who say they believe in God and Jesus are really living for themselves and doing wicked things. They are serving false gods that will make them happy. The Bible says that we don't belong in this world. We have another home waiting for us that is out of this world, if we will just choose to step out in faith and believe what God says. God has given us all the instructions we need right in the Bible and we are supposed to believe it and obey it.
Of course, when we tell people that we are not part of this world anymore, but instead we are seeking a home in Heaven, they think we are crazy. We show them the Bible and tell them that they can come too, but many don't want to believe. They want to keep living in the world and serving their false gods.
According to our verse in Hebrews, did Abraham obey God or disobey Him? He obeyed! You are not going to understand everything the Bible says. In fact, there are a whole lot of questions that will never be answered in this life. Just like Abraham, we need to just step out in faith. God will show us what to do next.
The Bible says that the only way we can get to Heaven is by having faith in Jesus. Do you believe that Jesus was God's Son, that He was here on Earth to die on the cross as payment for our sins, and that He was buried in a tomb for three days, but then He rose from the grave and went to Heaven to prepare a place for all His people? You may say, "That sounds crazy!" But many have put their faith in that truth, believed the Bible, and have continued following Him, and they have seen the blessing of God in their life. They keep reading God's Word, trying their best to do what it says, and they patiently wait for the day that they will get to be in Heaven with the Lord forever. I hope you will be one of those people. Let's pray.