SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Sunday October 6, 1996

The Call of Abraham
(Gen. 12:1-6)

Why did God call Abraham out of his home in Ur? Gen. 12:2,3; 17:4-8.

"In order that God might qualify him for his great work as the keeper of the sacred oracles, Abraham must be separated from the associations of his early life.... Now that Abraham was, in a special sense, connected with heaven, he must dwell among strangers. His character must be peculiar, differing from all the world....

"Relying upon the divine promise ... he abandoned home and kindred and native land, and went forth, he knew not whither, to follow where God should lead."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 126.

In Genesis 14:13, Abraham is called a Hebrew. A Hebrew is one who has passed over from the other side, especially one who has come from east of Canaan, beyond the Euphrates. (See SDA Bible Dic- tionary, p. 468.) By implication, this signifies one who has come out of Babylon. It was not Abraham's national origin that made him great, but his pure worship of the true God.

Who are called by God? Isa. 45:22; Matt. 11:28, 29.

Wanting none to be lost, God calls everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). But only those "who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful" (Rev. 17:14, NKJV). The "called" are, ultimately, those who respond to Christ's universal plea to let Him be their Saviour and thus receive His righteousness by faith (Rom. 9:7,8). For this reason Christ said, "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14).

Giving God your all. At the age of 30, Florence Nightingale, the famous nurse of the Crimean War, wrote, "I am thirty years of age, the age at which Christ began His mission. Now no more childish things, no more vain things. Now, Lord, let me think only of Thy will." Near the end of her days, when someone asked for her life's secret, she replied, "I can only give one explanation. That is, I have kept nothing back from God."-Paul Rees, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, Paul Lee Tan, ed. (Rockville, Md.: Assurance Pub., 1985), p. 271; adapted.

Like Abraham, Florence Nightingale responded positively to Christ's call. What changes can such a response produce in your life?