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When God takes his time.

Updated on April 18, 2015
lawrence01 profile image

Loving God and loving mankind is an important part of who I am, in these hubs we explore what it's like to really follow Jesus.

If God took six days to make the Earth why can't he do things a little quicker for us?
If God took six days to make the Earth why can't he do things a little quicker for us? | Source

God spoke to Abram

Ever been confused as to what God is doing? OK that's probably happened more than once. It might even be happening on a daily basis. I'm not speaking of the things on a global scale (though those are confusing enough) but the things we ask for but he seems to take forever to reply, or he replies but then the 'follow through' takes so long we either think that we were hearing things or worse still God might have actually lied to us.

It might seem a bit strange to ask such a question. Some might even think it's a bit too much to be asking the Almighty why he's taking his own sweet time about stuff (I mean hasn't the Bible answered it "God is not willing that any should perish etc!") but personally I think it's a valuable question that can tell us a lot about who God really is and how much we really understand him.

I wonder if that might have been the way Abram felt at times. I mean he was at least seventy five years old when God finally spoke to him. Even then he didn't know how long he'd have to wait for the final result. It only started when he was seventy. He wouldn't see the next stage for thirty years, how could he wait so long?

Today we start drawing our government cheque at sixty five and up until a few years ago at seventy we could expect to be in the retirement home! But Abram's just starting out on his calling at seventy five!

We've no real idea when God first spoke to Abram, we did a bit of conjecture in the last hub in this series (The walk of faith) but we don't really know. One thing is clear however and that's that by the time the Bible takes up the story it's clear that Abram has found out how to listen to God's prompting (his voice)

Where from?

'Get out from there" Is what the LORD (YHWH) told Abram
'Get out from there" Is what the LORD (YHWH) told Abram | Source

Harran. Where the journey resumed

Get a move on!

"Oi Abram, Get off your butt. and get a move on!!!" was pretty much what God said to Abram.

God wasn't too gentle with Abram. The translations of the Bible that we use today often 'water down' the real language that the original scribes intended to be passed down. The Bible actually used some pretty strong language at the time to get the point across.

Good example is in the book of Galatians where Paul says "Oh you foolish Galatians" the actual language is more like "You absolute complete dumb imbeciles, who tricked you?" (Galatians 3 verse 1 and 2). As I said sometimes the translators lost a little of the meaning when they translated the work, but the original is there if we'll go looking for it.

"Abram, get off your butt, and get moving!" Ever heard it put that way before? Probably not. See the reason is (if you'll look at chapter 11) is the journey had started years before and they'd got sidetracked!!

Years before a family had set out from Ur under the direction of the Patriarch of the family Terah. Terah had died in Harran and now it was time to complete the journey. It was time for Abram to step up and take the clan (family) on to the destiny that God had for them. So, at seventy five the adventure was about to begin.

The journey resumes

Harran/Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey

get directions

The journey resumes when God tells Abram to "Get off his butt"

Damascus, Syria

get directions

Abram will pass through here. Damascus was already Ancient when he went through.

Hebron, Israel:

get directions

Abram's final destination. But his family wouldn't get their inheritance for nearly six hundred years.

Abram hears God

Notice that the Bible doesn't tell us if it was Abram's first time for hearing the voice of God! Usually even in the Bible the first time God speaks to the person there's a story as to how it happened. Moses had a burning bush, Samuel heard the voice of God but he thought it was Eli and Mary had an Angel show up! But here we don't get anything like that. God simply tells Abram "Time to pack up and go"

Could it be that one of the reasons that it seemed that God took so long to speak to Abram was the fact that he'd already been speaking (Chapter 11 verse 31) and they'd got distracted?

Is that possible? Do we sometimes hear what God is saying but things seem to crowd in and we get distracted? Didn't Jesus talk about this is the parable of the sower? Just a thought.

When God takes his time

Abram's response

Whatever had gone on before Abram doesn't argue with God, he just gives the order to "pack up" and the whole tribe are on the move.

Reading the story the way we do can give the impression that it was just Abram and a few others who were moving. But the reality is that the whole group probably came to somewhere between one and two hundred people. Getting that many people to move from a place they knew to somewhere else that no one had seen or knew anything about, in fact no one actually knew where they were going was a mark of trust in their leader.

Abram gives the word that he's heard from God (YHWH) and they're

Take a look around

One way we can get a better idea of maybe why it took so long for God to talk to Abram (or why Abram took so long to listen) is to take a look around at what the world of men was like at that time.

First of all it's important to realize that ho one really doubts that there was an Abram figure anymore. Who or what he was is open to discussion but the idea of the Jewish and Arab (well. some of the Arab) nations coming from one common ancestor isn't all that far fetched anymore. But who he was and how he came into being is still something scholars are open to discussing, ,

2,200 BC was a pretty wild time to be alive. The world was changing at an alarming pace. New metals had just been invented and the age of the copper weapon was doomed as men discovered that by mixing copper with a new metal discovered in small quantities in Sinai and on an Island far to the west was revolutionizing warfare. The new metal it was being mixed with was Tin and the new alloy created was Bronze, a metal far stronger and more pliable than copper. (incidentally the tin deposits 'on the Island far to the west were in Cornwall in England and by 1,500 BC the larguest tin and copper mines ever found were in Britain).

The issue was that for this metal to be made you needed good quality furnaces and they were in Mesopotamia, they were controlled by the Old Babylonians, a ruthless Empire constantly at war with their Northern neighbors the Assyrians.

To the southeast of Harran you had the Babylonians and Assyrians, both ruthless and both brutal. To the east were the Kardochoi (modern day Kurds) and the Chaldani a barbaric people who lived around what is now lake Van in eastern Turkey. North there was the Hittites, an empire on the wane but still a major force on he scene and finally to the south were the 'new kids on the block' Egypt had taken control of most of the levant as far as modern day Damascus and possibly Aleppo.

Abram and his people were right in the middle! They were safe where they were but moving meant danger!

Maybe God seems to take his time speaking to us because where we are seems a lot safer than where he'll take us?

Birth and death of the Hittite Empire


Danger at every corner

Maybe when God tells us something we start thinking of the danger of actually doing what he tells us? Abram and his clan were surrounded by potential enemies. At least where he was relatively safe! If push came to shove he could play the one off against the other. He'd always have one or more allies to help out if he needed it. Moving from where they were. no matter where they were going meant abandoning the safety of the land and people they knew! It meant stepping out into the unknown.

Abram believed in the one God, but none of the empires around had that same belief. Usually at that time those empires thought there were many gods with their King or Pharaoh being a god on earth and dissent was not acceptable in any shape or form. Maybe this is what had prevented Abram from hearing what God had been telling him. FEAR may have been the barrier to hearing God

Time to move
Time to move

What do you think

I may be totally off the mark with what held up the message from getting through to Abram. There may have been no hold up at all and God just took his own sweet time (he does tend to work outside our time-frames) but they could also be the reason that Abram wasn't hearing God and eventually he had to start talking like a good old Sergeant Major 'GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND GET A MOVE ON ABRAM. Don't worry about the direction, I'll let you know but IT'S TIME TO MOVE!!' (Okay, a major butchering I know but I think it gets the point over)

I know for me fear has at times played a part in not walking in faith. Maybe procrastinating as well, and I'm positive that it's pretty close to the way I hear God speak quite a bit (Okay I may be a bit deaf to what he's saying at times but like Abram we get there in the end!) but

What about you?

Ever had anything you knew you should be doing but just couldn't?

See results

I've got news and it's good news

Just like Abram got many other chances to hear God so he also gives us chances to hear and obey him. He's not the mean old man who gives one chance with a 'blow it and you're history' line. He keeps on giving us chances, keeps on speaking even when we're not listening so that we can grow in knowing him and one day when we get to heaven he's going to be bragging about all the times when we did hear and obey (don't believe me then read the book of Job chapter 1 where God's actually bragging to Satan that Job is faithful! Awesome!!!)

Keep on going. Keep on seeking him and he will speak in ways that you'll learn to recognize. They may not be the ways he speaks to others, or even your spouse, but you'll learn to recognize his voice and you'll know it's him


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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Very profound and very true.

    • Besarien profile image


      3 years ago

      Sometimes to make a spiritual journey you have to cross a physical desert. Great hub!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Glad you enjoyed it


    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Right on brother. But he's also one who only stops giving us chances when he tells us it's time to come home.

      Make the most of what he gives, you never know whom you might be blessing


    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great read.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Kiss and tales

      Thank you for the comments


    • Paul K Francis profile image

      Paul K Francis 

      3 years ago from east coast,USA

      God may have told us a long time ago to get our butts moving, but it may be ourselves who took our time to listen. Enjoyed reading.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      3 years ago

      Thank you it is so wonderful to know that you took the time to write this hub because you really care about people's spiritual needs, I so agree it is not easy and sometimes not welcome , but if you love Jehovah and Jesus who we have not seen , surly we are to love our family friends and neighbors who we see everyday. you show that , thank you Lawrence.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Kiss and tales

      This one wasn't an easy hub to write as I didn't want it to come over as negative (a couple of rewrites took place) but wanted to pose the hard question as some have walked away from faith because they think God can't hear them.

      I'm pleased with the hub but want folks to know even when we've spentyears 'not listening' (we really ddon't know if it was the.first time God spoke to Abram!) God still opens the door and says 'well done' when we finally obey.

      Glad you enjoyed it and I'll keep putting that kind of input in



    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      3 years ago

      True not by his right but The Heavenly Father allowed the challenge,

      My reply was according to the question that you had posted with your hub.

      Abraham was surly blessed by Jehovah and his seed surly multiplied

      ,he was a great example on a small scale how Jehovah would give his own son in our behalf. Just as Abraham was going to give his son and an angel stopped him.

      Mostly many accounts lead us to greater event that will happen in the future many have already been fulfilled.

      I appreciate your spiritual subjects and questions thank you.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Kiss and tales

      Thanks for the comments. Satan took control through deception and trickery so it's not his by 'right'.

      The hub is more about when God takes his time in talking to Abram

      Thanks for your input



    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      3 years ago

      Great question that certainly goes good with your Hub

      To answer your question we must remember what Jesus said about the tax.

      New World Translation Mt 22:21 They said: “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them: “Pay back, therefore, Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.”

      Notice the two are separate .

      People today assume God is over everything, when it is clear that satan is the ruler and god of this system of the world.

      New World Translation Lu 4:6 Then the Devil said to him (Jesus) : “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

      New World Translation Joh 14:30 I will not speak with you much more, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has no hold on me.

      As an example ,some one has an Apartment building ,he has allowed a certain management team to take over why he is away for some years

      The tenants do not know ,yet they do notice the grass is not cut, things not repaired, even loitering.

      This is not the way things were before the tenants say.

      So the same with the earth ,

      Satan rules when thrown down .

      New World Translation Re 12:9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.

      We are feeling the effects of satan's unjust rulership,

      But Jesus has assured us that he has no hold on him.

      New World Translation Joh 14:30 I will not speak with you much more, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has no hold on me.

      Joh 16:33 I have said these things to you so that by means of me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.”

      Remember we will have tribulation,only because satan is ruling ,but that rule is at its end.

      So we must remember New World Translation 2Co 4:18 while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.

      We must not get the two mixed up.what is Caesar 's(satan things) and what is God's

      And to remember Jesus is really King of Kings and Lord of Lords ! We are to switch over to his Kingly rule in full accord soon ,but there are citizens to find, are you one of them!

      I rejoice that you are !

      Ask your self how did Jesus find his first citizens ,and by what method ,he has not change it.

      Lu 10:1 After these things the Lord designated 70 others and sent them out by twos ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go.

      So do not let people fool you and take your opportunity and treasure away for Jesus has come to your door and said come!


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