Abraham had a house. He had a home, a wider community. As a wealthy man with servants he had respect and status. God’s call to him was simple. Leave it all and follow me.
Abraham left his country because God wanted to establish a new nation and a new people to the earth. Abraham left his family because God wanted to establish a new family on the earth.
The Lord’s house is not of this earth. It does not begin on this earth. It is not built by those focussed on this earth. God’s call to Abraham ‘Leave and follow me’ is the same call that the disciples heard as they sat mending nets and collecting taxes, ‘follow me.’ At the first call there is little indication of what lies ahead.
What did God say to Abraham? ‘Go to a place that I will show you.’ There wasn’t even a map or a proper route, never mind a destination. We have all heard of the promised land but when Abraham left Ur he had no idea what was to come. He simply heard the call of God and followed. More important than purpose, more important than any mission, more important than understanding what was happening, Abraham wanted to be with God, to follow him and to live his life for the unseen God.
There’s a man of faith but there also is love. God wanted a man who wanted to be with him. God wanted a man who loved him.
What is a home if it is not the place where we live with our family, with our loved ones? A man leaves his father’s home to establish a new house with his wife. Abraham left his father’s house in the same way to be with the living God.
God’s house is not his house unless it is filled with those he loves. He wanted a family. He wanted a people and without them our God has no house, no home and no place to lay his head. Without a people the Lord is a wanderer, like Abraham pitching his tents wherever he can, finding what company he can but without a home. The story of Abraham wandering in search of the promised land is the story of the creator of the universe searching for his bride.
God wanted a home filled with those he loved and who loved him in return. In Eden he found a couple he adored but God and man were separated by the fall. From the very instant of the fall God has been working to restore the intimate relationship he desires. He provided a temporary solution to Adam and Eve when he gave them clothes as he would one day provide Israel a temporary solution with the law but his heart longs, as it longed in the eternal ages before creation, for a people to share his home with.
In Abraham God found his desire. He would have a people and he would have a home.