Genesis 1:5 – “Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.”
Genesis 1:8 – “Elohim called the expanse the Heavens.”
Genesis 1:10 – “Elohim called the dry land Earth, and the water he called Seas.”
Genesis 10:5 – “From these the islands of the nations were divided into their lands.”
In the beginning verses of Scripture the Spirit of Elohim hovered over the waters and called into being the universe, the heavens, the earth, the sun and the stars, the animals, plants, and human beings. The word translated “called” is the Hebrew word qara’ [קָרָא H7121], which means to call out, to call forth, or to officially proclaim.
After the flood of Genesis 6 the nations were called into being during the time of Peleg (Genesis 10:25). The descendants of Ham, Shem, and Noah were divided into nations (Genesis 10:5-32). Each of these nations was called by the name of its founding father.
Calling All Humans
Those whom Yahweh calls will come “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9) and “they will be his people, and Yahweh himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). Let us, then, discover how central God’s calling is to our understanding of the Bible.
Calling All Older Covenant Humans
Genesis 3:9 – “Yahweh, Elohim, called to the man, ‘Where are you?’.”
When Elohim finished calling all that exists into being, he then called upon the humans he created, Adam and Eve, to multiply and fill the earth, to name the animals, to till the land, and to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:17). Adam and Eve failed to obey, then Yahweh called Noah, his immediate family, and those beasts that were called to enter the ark (Genesis 6 & 7/).
Abraham was the next to be called. Yahweh called Abraham out of Haran and commanded him to go to the land which he would show him (Genesis 12:1). After the birth of Isaac, Elohim called to Abraham from heaven commanding him to sacrifice Isaac ( Genesis 22:2). As Abraham prepared to do so the Angel of Yahweh called to Abraham again from Heaven, commanding him to stay his hand (Genesis 22:11-15). Years later, Moses (after spending forty years in the wilderness as a shepherd) was called by Elohim out of the burning bush (Exodus 3:4) to lead the enslaved Hebrews out of Egypt to Mount Sinai in the land of Midian. The end result was that Yahweh called Israel into being a nation. Once in the land, Yahweh called many to serve as Priests, Officials, Judges, and as Kings.
People’s responses to God’s call were varied. When Yahweh called Samuel, Samuel said, “Yes, I’m listening!” (1 Samuel 3:9). But when God, through Samuel called Saul, Saul replied, “I’m only a man from Binyamin, the smallest tribe in Israel . . . Why are you saying such a thing to me?” In other words: “You must have the wrong man!” (1 Samuel 9:21). So, Yahweh then had Samuel call David to become King and David became one of the greatest Kings of Israel, whom God called “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22).
Calling All To Trust and Obey
Proverbs 7:2 – “Obey my commands, and live; guard my teaching like the pupil of your eye.”
In Genesis, Jacob vows to obey Yahweh’s laws, to trust and obey “If Elohim will be with me and will guard me on this road that I am traveling, giving me bread to eat and clothes to wear, so that I return to my father’s house in peace, then Yahweh will be my God.” Upon calling the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt the Ten Commandments were given, the Tabernacle built, and the sacrificial Worship practices begun. In the burnt offering, God called the person offering it to complete surrender and dedication. In the Day of Atonement, God called the people to acknowledge their sin and to the necessity for sacrifice to cover it. Throughout the next three books (Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) Yahweh uses all of the conditions of the Law and the laws to call for trust, obedience, justice, and mercy.
Yahweh again calls the people to repent and obey through his servant Joshua (Joshua 1:1-9, 24:2-13), through his servants the judges (Samson, Othniel Ehud, Shamgar Gideon Samuel, etc.). In Ezra and Nehemiah, Yahweh again called his people to trust and obey by rebuilding the temple and restoring their worship system. Through Jeremiah, Yahweh called his people to remain subject both to his discipline and to his inevitable blessing and called the promise of a new heart and a renewed spirit, described by Ezekiel, a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-40; Ezekiel 36:26-27). In Amos’ last sermon, Yahweh called the nation to repent and to seek him (Amos 5:4, 6, &14) and in Micah, Yahweh called his people to stop sinning and encouraged them to persevere during the period of his discipline. Then, in Habakkuk, Yahweh called the righteous to wait and be faithful (Habakkuk 2:3; 3:16), to trust and obey. Even foreign nations were called to repent (Jonah 1:2; 3:2-6). In the last book of the Older Covenant, Malachi, Yahweh once again called the people to return to himself, to trust and obey.
Calling All Newer Covenant Humans
Luke 18:16 – “Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God’.”
Throughout the Newer Covenant we continue to find that Yahweh calls people. Mary is called to give birth to Yeshua (Luke 1:30-35). Joseph is called not to quietly dismiss her, but to take Mary as his wife, despite her being found pregnant with child (Matthew 1:19-21). The child is to be called Immanuel, a prophet of Ha’Elyon, Mashiach, a son of Yahweh, Yeshua. Shortly after the Yeshua’s birth, the Angel of Yahweh called to Joseph and told him to take his family to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). After Herod’s death, the Angel of Yahweh again called to Joseph and told him it was now safe to return to the land of Israel (Matthew 2:19-20).
Yahweh called John the Baptizer, to be a “voice in the wilderness calling all to repentance” (Matthew 3:1-3, Mark 1:4, Luke 3:4). Yeshua called twelve men to be his disciples (Matthew 4:18-22). Those who became disciples were then called to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them, and to teach them to obey. (Matthew 28:19-20).
Calling All To Trust and Obey
Matthew 3:2 – “Turn from your sins to Yahweh, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”
Luke 11:28 – “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of Yahweh and obey it!”
From the moment of his baptism, Yahweh’s call to all humans, through Yeshua, to travel a narrow and difficult road (Luke 13:24). In his Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua called his hearers to move from external obedience to an obedience motivated by the law written upon the heart (Mark 5:1-ff). Yeshua states: “Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to Yahweh’s wrath” (John 3:36), and says in John 8:31 that those who obey really are his disciples, his talmidim.
In Revelation, Yeshua calls his people in the seven churches to be faithful, to endure patiently, to be compassionate, to endure slander for the sake of his name, to be repentant if they sin, to keep the commandments of Yahweh and hold fast to the faith of Jesus, to be uncompromising of sin, to be sexually uncorrupt, and to be alive (Revelation 2:1-3:22).
Revelation 21:3 – “I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! The Tabernacle of Yahweh is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, Yahweh-with-them, will be their Elohim.”
In the Older Covenant, Elohim/Yahweh called all that exists into being. He called Adam to trust and obey, but Adam chose to disobey. Elohim/Yahweh continued to call people his own, and called them to trust him and obey his commandments. He called forth the first kings from amongst the people, and called into being a new covenant that would bring his Messiah.
In the Newer Covenant, Elohim/Yahweh continued to call. He called Joseph to take as his wife Mary, and called Mary to give birth to Yeshua. Through, Yeshua, Yahweh called forth disciples, who were to go forth and call all nations to discipleship. Finally, Yahweh/Yeshua will call the dead back to life and to judgment, will call down from heaven the new Jerusalem, and will call all whose name is in the Book of the Lamb to live eternally with him; they will be called his peoples, and Yahweh/Yeshua himself will be with them.
Prophecy as foretold by the Hebrew prophets continues to unfold in an escalating pattern. The stage is nearly completely set. The great and terrible Day of Yahweh, Joseph’s Trouble, hastens forth and will not delay. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.