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The Lord's Calling

September 09, 2019
By Martin Luther

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country... to the land that I will show you."

GENESIS 12:1

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The Lord's Calling

When Moses was describing Noah (Genesis 6:9), he called him a righteous and perfect man in his generation. No such title is bestowed on Abraham in this passage. No doubt this is because, as Joshua bears witness, Abraham, with his father and brothers, was an idolater and was righteous, not before God but before Nimrod, whose worship he was imitating (Joshua 24:2). Moses, therefore, says nothing about Abraham's person and has no praise for anything in him. For idolatry must be reproved, not praised. But he does praise God's mercy and extol Him because He did not allow this idolater to remain in idolatry any longer but called him out of the church of the ungodly to another place. . .. This blessing of deliverance from idolatry has its source, not in [Abraham's] own merits or powers but solely in a God who pities and calls him. Similarly, Moses reminds his people that they were chosen by the Lord, not because they had deserved this but because the Lord had loved them and was keeping the oath that had been given to their fathers. In this passage we see that the beginnings are in agreement with the end. For what is Abraham except a man who hears God when He calls him, that is, a merely passive person and merely the material on which divine mercy acts?