The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.”
This doesn’t sound like a romantic verse; no, it sounds like a path of heartbreak and tears. “Leave those I know and love, and the place where I am familiar? Enter the unknown of following a God whom I have only just now become aware?” Wow, what courage!
But I petition that this verse has romance like many others. It is the Lord calling forth from its inception a people and peoples that He loves passionately and dearly. This verse is a drawing, wooing verse. It is filled with the yearning cry of our God for a man, yes, but more, it included us all.
Now there is no story in this world that doesn’t harken its reality from “The Story.” The players and scenarios may change but all stories just replay the original story of our God. It is in our DNA and is repeated as it resounds through our lives. So the human story I wish to use to exemplify the tale of Abram’s call is by Shakespeare.
Recently I stood below the celebrated Juliet’s balcony of the play, Romeo and Juliet. I saw droves of people coming to stroke her bronze statue and fasten locks to every surface – binding all to worship at the altar of love. Tributes to our undying quest to achieve LOVE!
Well, as I left the courtyard, I thought about the story of Abraham. I believe Act II, scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet represents this very well.
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
In this scene, Juliet ponders leaving her identity and family name to nullify a longstanding family feud and be with the one she loves. In order for this iconic couple to pursue their love, they will have to leave all and cling to one another. This path of uncertainty is tantalizing to a youthful sense of adventure. The dramatic heartbeat pounds in the chest of the foolhardy. But there was a living reality displayed in the life of Abram. Abram had to abandon all, which included his life, relations and name, to enter this pursuit of God.
Don’t we all have to embark on this quest to follow the true, everlasting God? Doesn’t the Lord beckon to us, “Believer, o believer, wherefore art thou believer? Deny thy father and refuse thy name.” He asks us to leave all to embrace Him. Oh how the True Romantic demonstrates His love! And we have to follow in kind or be shipwrecked upon the rocks of form and mere knowledge.
This stunning God, captivating and frightening, asks that we enter into such a pursuit. Hear His lover’s heart in Psalms:
Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
Forget your people and your family far away.
Then the King will desire your beauty.
Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.
Psalm 45:10-11 NASB