8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Verses 8–38 show the outcome of genuine faith in a variety of situations. These situations give us an idea about what the life of faith looks like. Each expression of faith differed depending on the circumstances. At each difficulty, these believers applied the promises of God to their experiences by faith. All these examples demonstrate the power of faith.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed
The glory of God appeared to Abraham while he was a pagan and worshiped idols (Josh 24:2; Ac 7:2). He lived in Ur of Chaldea. Chaldea was in the Mesopotamian Valley about 140 miles from the future location of Babylon. He became a believer by faith (Ge 15:6). He was to obey God’s initial call by faith (Ge 12:1–4).
God said in Genesis 12:1, “Get out of your country.” In Genesis 12:4, Abraham immediately obeyed God’s command. That is a stark and swift response to God’s will. He willingly took God at His word. Abraham became the first Jew and head of the nation of Israel. He was the founder of a theocratic kingdom.
when he was called to go out to the place
“Was called” means while being called (present participle) Abraham obeyed God; it was during his calling that he obeyed. At the time God called Abraham, he began preparations to go where God directed him.
which he would receive as an inheritance.
The Abrahamic Covenant promised this patriarch a great inheritance (Ge 12–17; especially Ge 13:14–17;15:18–21). God made Abraham aware of the promised land once he entered Canaan (Ge 12:7). He did not know where he was going until that point.
And he went out,
Abraham went out as a nomad by faith from Haran. He did not know where his faith would lead him. God’s promise was so real to this man that he took immediate action to make a drastic change of direction in his life.
not knowing where he was going.
The word “knowing” means to fix one’s thoughts on something. Abraham’s faith went beyond his knowledge—he did not think about where he was going; it was not his concern. God had not given him clear indication of where he was to go. His primary concern was doing the will of God. He was in his mid-70s when he left his home country.
Daring faith is willing to risk.
Genuine faith always prompts obedience. Believers operating by faith take God at His word. Faith believes in God’s credibility and trustworthiness; it believes and does what He says. We claim all promises of God by faith.
Faith in God’s promises is why Abraham risked his entire future. Faith deals with the uncertainties of life. It is the response to the promises of God. Those who attempt to risk by advancing the cause of God require trust in God’s promises and provisions. If we are to accomplish something great for God, we must depend on Him; otherwise, we rest on our resources. Faith steps out not knowing what God will do.
As non-Christians, we come out of a dark place. Once a person becomes a believer, God places a desire to reject past lifestyle. We call the life outside of Christ “worldliness” (1 Jn 2:15f). Worldliness is the desire of anything outside of God’s values. The Christian worldview desires to please God and His viewpoint on reality (2 Ti 2:3–4). Christian living at its heart does not do what it does to please people. It does not do what it does out of fear of the consequences. It originates in faith, in trust in who and what God is and requests of us. This is daring faith. For Abraham, it was a faith that was willing to leave the security of his country, home, relatives, friends, and business to risk an uncertain future in a land that he had never visited.