LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES
- PETER BARNABAS PAMULA
THE BIBLE mentions the call of Abraham by God to travel the journey of faith. The Bible records in Genesis 12: 1-5 that Abraham left Haran with his herds, servants and family for Canaan without giving second thought. How dare a successful businessman of integrity leave altogether for an unknown destination? Is Canaan really a land flowing with milk and honey and a conducive environment where there is no law and order problem? In fact, to contemplate on such an instruction would be unfair and disastrous.
By way of comparison, Haran was virtually a fertile land where his wealth increased and he was a prosperous and successful businessman. However, when the call of God came to him, he had to leave his comfort zone, leave his business friends and community connections to a land where God promised to give him and make him great amongst all the people of the earth. It is unimaginable for an established wealthy person to travel an uncharted path...a path deeply saturated with uncertainty and failure. In fact, his departure disturbed the economic, social, political and religious spheres of the community because he had great wealth and influence.
Just imagine if someone wealthy and influential in your community leaves the place of residence and completely migrates to another place. How would that affect you and your community? In my view, this would be an unwise decision to consider. However, traveling the journey of faith is simply an act of faith based on the promises of God. So Abraham followed the will of God not his natural inclinations or compelled by the pressure of his friends or wantoks; for he knew God's way is always the best way.
I have found four reasons for Abraham to leave Haran for Canaan despite his prosperity, influence and wealth. First, according to Genesis 12: 3, God promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation. Second, God promised to bless him. Third, God promised that he would make his name great in all the earth. Finally, God promised through him all the families of the earth would be blessed.
For now let's consider the first reason. The other three reasons would be discussed later. When God promised Abraham to make him a great nation....it was God's choice for Abraham to become a visionary leader. Thus, he made a radical decision to follow God's direction... come what may. He had no space for doubt and disbelief. Visionary leaders look beyond the present and see the future in spite of their success and fame. Visionary leaders know when to stop talking and when to listen. Visionary leaders know their strength and weaknesses and seize the opportunity to grow and expand. Con't next week!
The writer is a Papua New Guinean student studying Masters in Religion at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), Silang, Cavite, Philippines. For comments I can be contacted on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone (05) (63) 09391773655.