The tendency that we have toward these types of passages in Scripture (or just me, but it's probably most of us) is to ignore them, gloss over them or skim them. Surely these mundane things have no application for us, no lessons, no information necessary for our lives. The names are difficult to pronounce and silly to say, the places are all foreign and we don't know where they are in relationship to anywhere else being mentioned.
You can read the chapter or listen to the sermon here; my intent is not to summarize what was taught last night. What I was thinking about, and what I have considered since the sermon is that Abram had to make a decision: either he could be a man of faith or a man of the world. This is a decision we all must make multiple times in our lives. Do we want to be people (usually women, followers :)) of faith or people of the world. What do our actions show the world about our love and obedience of Christ? What do our homes, families and marriages show?
This sermon also made me think about what I said earlier about faith vs. discernment. I still stand by that post and the comparisons I made. Some theological things are just held in a tension that we don't understand. But the application of last night's sermon was that everything depends on our faith and shortfalls are a result of unbelief. Disobedience, sin and pride all come from unbelief - a lack of faith that God is not who He says He is, a lack of faith in His promises and His love for us, a lack of faith in His sovereignty. Ouch.
I hope this post encourages and challenges you to reassess your faith in God. Also, I hope that we might take more time to discern what God is saying to us through seemingly boring, pointless passages in the Bible. After all, "all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I'm sure I'll move onto a different topic for the next post. Soli Deo Gloria.