God Finds The Sinner
NOTICE first of all where God found Abram. It was in Ur of the Chaldees, far, far from the promised land. “Ur” means flame. “Chaldee” means destruction. Literally, then, God found Abram in the place of the flame and in the land of destruction. We call attention to this because the story of Abram is the example of salvation first of all by faith. Abram is first of all an example of the sinner saved by the grace of God. In the place of the flame, in the place of judgment, in the land of destruction is exactly where God finds every sinner whom He saves. By our first birth, like Abram, we were alienated from God, placed under the judgment of hell, and set on an earth destined and doomed to destruction. Moreover, Abram was in the beginning an idolater. He came from a pagan country and from a pagan nation and from a pagan home. His family worshipped idols, and estranged themselves from the one true God. Joshua gives us this little bit of information in speaking to Israel when he said to all the people:
“Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods.’ ” – Joshua 24:2.
That is, therefore, the picture of the sinner, alienated from God, a stranger to the promises and the covenants of God, living under judgment and doomed to destruction. This man, this sinner, however, God purposed to save by His grace through faith, and called him to leave his old life and to walk by faith and faith alone. Hebrews tells us that Abraham simply didn’t know where he was expected to go day by day but relied upon the Lord as the Lord led him in the path of faith.