Verses 4–5

Here is, I. Abraham’s removal out of his country, out of Ur first and afterwards out of Haran, in compliance with the call of God: So Abram departed; he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but did as he was bidden, not conferring with flesh and blood, Gal. 1:15, 16. His obedience was speedy and without delay, submissive and without dispute; for he went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb. 11:8), but knowing whom he followed and under whose direction he went. Thus God called him to his foot, Isa. 41:2.

II. His age when he removed: he was seventy-five years old, an age when he should rather have had rest and settlement; but, if God will have him to begin the world again now in his old age, he will submit. Here is an instance of an old convert.

III. The company and cargo that he took with him.

1. He took his wife, and his nephew Lot, with him; not by force and against their wills, but by persuasion. Sarai, his wife, would be sure to go with him; God had joined them together, and nothing should put them asunder. If Abram leave all, to follow God, Sarai will leave all, to follow Abram, though neither of them knew whither. And it was a mercy to Abram to have such a companion in his travels, a help meet for him. Note, It is very comfortable when husband and wife agree to go together in the way to heaven. Lot also, his kinsman, was influenced by Abram’s good example, who was perhaps his guardian after the death of his father, and he was willing to go along with him too. Note, Those that go to Canaan need not go alone; for, though few find the strait gate, blessed be God, some do; and it is our wisdom to go with those with whom God is (Zech. 8:23), wherever they go.

2. They took all their effects with them—all their substance and movable goods, that they had gathered. For, (1.) With themselves they would give up their all, to be at God’s disposal, would keep back no part of the price, but venture all in one bottom, knowing it was a good bottom. (2.) They would furnish themselves with that which was requisite, both for the service of God and the supply of their family, in the country whither they were going. To have thrown away his substance, because God had promised to bless him, would have been to tempt God, not to trust him. (3.) They would not be under any temptation to return; therefore they leave not a hoof behind, lest that should make them mindful of the country from which they came out.3. They took with them the souls that they had gotten, that is, (1.) The servants they had bought, which were part of their substance, but are called souls, to remind masters that their poor servants have souls, precious souls, which they ought to take care of and provide food convenient for. (2.) The proselytes they had made, and persuaded to attend the worship of the true God, and to go with them to Canaan: the souls which (as one of the rabbin expresses it) they had gathered under the wings of the divine Majesty. Note, Those who serve and follow God themselves should do all they can to bring others to serve and follow him too. These souls they are said to have gained. We must reckon ourselves true gainers if we can but win souls to Christ.

IV. Here is their happy arrival at their journey’s end: They went forth to go into the land of Canaan; so they did before (Gen. 11:31), and then took up short, but now they held on their way, and, by the good hand of their God upon them, to the land of Canaan they came, where by a fresh revelation they were told that this was the land God promised to show them. They were not discouraged by the difficulties they met with in their way, nor diverted by the delights they met with, but pressed forward. Note, 1. Those that set out for heaven must persevere to the end, still reaching forth to those things that are before. 2. That which we undertake in obedience to God’s command, and a humble attendance upon his providence, will certainly succeed, and end with comfort at last.