For a third time God reveals to Abram that God has chosen him, selected him to receive a vast amount of land and to have countless descendants. Neither promise makes any sense. The land promised is not where he lives, and his wife, Sarai, cannot have children. In chapter 12 God told Abram to leave his home and go to “a land I will show you.” With God’s first intiative of “go” and “I will show” and the promise of a great nation and blessings in chapter 12, things seem to look up for Abram. Abram does as God commands and goes. He and Sarai have many adventures before God reaffirms the promise of heirs and land in chapter 13. Now in chapter 15, Abram and Sarai remain childless—clearly a disconnect between God’s promise and their reality. The “chosen” ones must wonder about the benefits of their specialness to God.
When have you felt chosen by God for a task? How did that chosenness manifest in your life?
In my early forties I served as an assistant dean at a university. I felt a clear sense of being chosen by God to be the president of a nearby university. I knew I was too young, too inexperienced, and not ready to take on the responsibilities of leading a university. But one Sunday morning, before the selection process had commenced, I experienced a deep assurance that God had chosen me for this task. The committee selected me for the position, and I have served in executive positions ever since. Being chosen by God does not mean our work will be easy or the benefits evident. Understanding that God has chosen us boosts our confidence in the possibility of promises fulfilled.

God, thank you for our unique gifts that we employ to make the world a better place. Help us to know and use our gifts for your purposes. Amen.

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