The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 50 of 190
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noted by the Lord, just as surely as the halts and the hindrances that for the time
prevented complete obedience.
At the end of Gen. 11: we read: "And Terah took Abram his son" (Gen. 11: 31).
Perhaps it is impossible for us who live today to realize the authority that a parent had in
those patriarchal days over his children, even though they were grown up and married.
The Lord, therefore, tempered His command, and did not include "thy father's house" at
the beginning.  Haran, though 600 miles distant from Ur, was a similar city, and
worshipped the same Moon-god. Not until Terah was dead did Abraham cross over
Jordan and enter into the land.
We can say without fear of contradiction that the necessary condition of blessing in
Abraham's case was obedience of faith.  And the same is true of all experimental
blessings in relation to all the children of God in all ages.
(2) What underlies the blessing of God?
It is evident from the context that Abraham was not called and blessed on merely
personal grounds. The nations of the earth had signally failed. The awful rebellion of the
builders of Babel is found in the same chapter as the move of Terah to Haran. That
rebellion was overruled by the purpose of God:--
"Let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth"
(Gen. 11: 4).
When the Lord blessed Abraham, He said, "I will make thy name great . . . . . and in
thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 12: 2, 3); as though that which had
been rebelliously planned by the builders of Babel should be gloriously achieved by the
mercy of God. We shall therefore be within the bounds of truth if we say that underlying
the blessings of Scripture will be discovered the outworking of the purpose of the ages.
If we turn to Eph. 1: 3-14, where that phase of the purpose is introduced which
belongs to heavenly places and the mystery, we shall find "blessing" and "purpose" very
closely related:--
"Who hath blessed us . . . . . according as He hath chosen us . . . . . having
predestinated us . . . . . according to the good pleasure of His will . . . . . according to His
good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself . . . . . according to the purpose of Him
Who worketh all things after the counsel of His Own will."
(3) An essential characteristic of blessing.
This fact, that blessings are not merely personal, but are related to a wider purpose
than our own immediate salvation and peace, leads us to the next observation. No
blessing is given to man for purely personal and selfish ends. He is blessed that he may
be a blessing:--