Daily Devotional: The site of the great tree

Genesis 12:1-9

1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

2 "I will make you into a great nation
       and I will bless you;
       I will make your name great,
       and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
       and whoever curses you I will curse;
       and all peoples on earth
       will be blessed through you."

4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

300_818638 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

If you don’t already have an altar, a special place where you spend time alone with God, create one now. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just a place where you can remove  yourself from your everyday life and turn your focus completely on God. It might be a special chair in your family room. Or a corner of your bedroom. Or perhaps a spot in your office. Have your Bible and other study or devotional tools close at hand. You might want to have music to play or candles to light. Whatever helps you bend your mind and  your ears to hear God rather than the cacophony of earthly living.

Commit to spending regular time at your altar. Sit or kneel in God’s presence, talking to Him honestly about all that you have on your mind—your blessings, your troubles, your needs. Reread the story of Abraham and Isaac and the name Abraham gave the altar [Genesis 22:1-4]. Think about the truth of God’s work and provision in you life, and then perhaps name  your altar something that reflects that truth.

God’s words to Abraham in Genesis 15:1 are His words to you also as you face your life with its struggles as well as blessings. Use His words to pray your thanks back to God for His strength and protection.

I need You in my life, Lord. I need regular communication and communion with You. I confess my lack of faithfulness in seeking You. Make my hunger for You so great that my only response can be falling on my knees before You. Amen.

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