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God’s First Open House

My mother became a Real Estate Agent for Century 21 when I entered high school. Due to the demands of new transfers, I was often dragged to open houses where my mom shined. This was the glory years of real estate before the market was flooded with too many individuals trying to get rich selling homes. While not every potential homeowner found the house of their dreams, open houses still provide strangers with opportunities to begin a new chapter of their lives if the timing is right.

Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and [a]curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves], Genesis 12:1-3.

While residing in Haran, a man named Abram was introduced to a foreign God. Just as modern telemarketers paint the ideal scenario for your future success, what God promised Abram in the passage above seemed too good to be true. When a severe famine delayed Abram’s journey to see this promised land, this dream property was put on hold for a few years. Meanwhile, Abram’s wife Sarai was taken by the king of Egypt, Pharoah, to become a member of his harem. This predicament which began with a lie likely distracted Abram mind from God’s first open house.

Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. 18 Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt among the oaks or terebinths of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and built there an altar to the Lord, Genesis 13:17-18.

When a dispute arose between Abram’s and Lot’s servants over a lack of space for both of their herds of cattle, Lot chose to move to Sodom. where the fields and soil were rich in nutrients. Once Lot completed his move, the Lord spoke to Abram, opening his eyes to the scenery of God’s creation. The passage above reminds me of what my mother would say to clients ar an open house. As Abram listened to God speak, a forest in Mamre got his attention. As the Lord informed Abram that this property was part of the land he was promised, a move quickly followed. This is where Abram built an altar to the Lord, dedicating this land to God.

b y Jay Mankus


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