Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.
As I was reading the early story of Abram (Abraham) I was struck by the significance of this verse, it is here that Abram recognises and celebrates the provision of God in his life. God had previously spoken to Abram, promising the land of Canaan to him and his descendants. Abram obeyed and, God kept His promise. To mark the occasion Abram seeks a high place to worship God where “he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.” This act of worship proceeds from God’s faithful provision and also preceeds His next Divine act of mercy, saving Abram and his family from a famine.
In Genesis 13 : 3-4 Abraham returns from his time in Egypt during the famine and seeks again to offer thanksgiving to God, where he had previously worshipped. In Genesis 22 : 33 Abraham plants a tree as a memorial of the covenant made at Beersheba between him and the Philistines for the well there, and “called upon the name of the Lord” in thanksgiving for His provision in the agreement. This also preceeds Abraham’s trial by God of sacrificing his only son Isaac, which he would have done if God had not stopped him. What a trial of faith! God rewarded Abraham’s great faith with a promise of many future descendants. As we see in these few verses Abraham was a man of God, worshipping Him in thanksgiving for His divine provision in all circumstances.
Dear reader, let us learn from Abraham and frequently call “upon the name of the Lord” in thanksgiving and worship for His provision for us each day. Even in times of strife and pain He provides for our needs in ways which may not be seen straight away, we must trust Him that He will show us His provision eventually. Like Abraham we can come in faith, presenting thanksgiving to Him in the tabernacle of our heart. He is our loving Father who hears us when we pray; when we call on Him He answers (Romans 10 : 13).