From Eternity Past


Into the Unknown

But from his father's grave the divine voice bade him go forward. Besides Sarah, the wife of Abraham, only Lot chose to share the patriarch's pilgrim life. Abraham possessed extensive flocks and numerous servants. He was never to return, and he took with him all that he had, “their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran.” In Haran both Abraham and Sarah had led others to the worship of the true God. These accompanied him to the land of promise, “the land of Canaan.” EP 75.5

The place where they first tarried was Shechem. In a wide, grassy valley, with its olive groves and gushing springs, Abraham made his encampment. It was a fair and goodly country, “a land of brooks of water, ... of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.” Deuteronomy 8:7, 8. But a heavy shadow rested upon wooded hill and fruitful plain. In the groves were set up the altars of false gods, and human sacrifices were offered upon the neighboring heights. EP 76.1

Then “the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” His faith was strengthened by this assurance. “And there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.” Still a wayfarer, he soon removed to a spot near Bethel and again erected an altar and called upon the name of the Lord. EP 76.2

Abraham set us a worthy example. His was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched his tent, close beside was set up his altar, calling all within his encampment to the morning and evening sacrifice. When his tent was removed, the altar remained. Roving Canaanites received instruction from Abraham, and wherever one of these came to that altar, he there worshiped the living God. EP 76.3