With the mass migration going on in the world today, Christians may be wondering why God is uprooting them from their fatherland and settling them in a foreign land. This movement may have everything to do with fulfilling God’s missionary plans for the people of the world. Commenting on Genesis 12:14-16, Martin Luther asserts that Abraham was an effective missionary. Luther writes,
God is thus accustomed to deal with those who are his in such a way that he does not let them remain too long in one place. He chases them back and forth not only for their sake, in order to prove their faith, but also so that they may be useful to other people. Abraham certainly could not remain silent, and he did not consider himself unfit to preach to the people of God’s mercy. Therefore, God drove him through hunger into the land of Egypt so that he might also be of some use there and enlighten some with true knowledge of God, which he also did without doubt. It would be insufferable for someone to associate with people and not reveal what is useful for the salvation of their souls. Since he says that he lived in Egypt, and it went well for him for Sarai’s sake, he did not neglect to teach them. God acts in wonderful ways on earth; he sends apostle and preacher to people before they themselves perceive or in anyway think about it. Even those who are sent do not know themselves how they have arrived there.”
From Martin Luther’s “Sermons in the First Book of Moses”. Quoted in The Church Comes from All Nations: Luther Texts on Mission by Volker Stolle. Translated by Klaus Detlev Schultz, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2003, p. 16).