Genesis 12: Abram’s Journey Begins

June 12, 2023 ·

Summary:
God instructs Abram to go west and establishes four agreements with him. Abram, accompanied by his wife Sarai and nephew Lot, follows God’s command and they eventually settle in Canaan. God promises to give the land to Abram’s descendants, and in response, Abram builds an altar. However, a famine strikes Canaan, and Abram flees to Egypt. Due to fear for his own safety, Abram tells others that Sarai is his sister rather than his wife, hoping to protect her from potential harm due to her beauty. Pharaoh, unaware of Sarai’s marital status, takes her into his palace, resulting in a curse upon his household. When Pharaoh discovers that Sarai is actually married to Abram, he becomes displeased and sends them away, feeling deceived.

Key verses:

  1. Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
  1. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

My thoughts:
This is the call of Abram. Many prophets (although Abram himself was not considered a prophet) have descriptions of their calling. Examples can be found in 1 Samuel 3, Isaiah 6, and Ezekiel 2. God is a deity who calls us, sometimes by name, and commissions us for the plans He has for us.

Abram’s faith demonstrated in this passage is remarkable. In response to the Lord’s simple request to “get up and leave,” Abram obeys without hesitation. It prompts us to reflect on whether we would be willing to leave behind everything we know, our comforts, and safety nets to follow God’s calling. Such a step requires great faith. Abram’s faith is recognized in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11 (vv. 8-19).

As a result of Abram’s obedience to leave his homeland, God establishes four agreements with him in verses 2 and 3, which are as follows:

1. God will make Abram a great nation and bless him.
2. Abram’s name will be made great, and he will be a blessing.
3. God will bless those who bless Abram and curse those who curse him.
4. Through Abram, all peoples on earth will be blessed.

Throughout the Old Testament, these four agreements are observed to be fulfilled when Israel maintains a positive relationship with God. However, when Israel turns away from God, these statements become less applicable.

After making this covenant, Abram builds an altar to worship God. Similarly, Noah also did this when he received his covenant after the flood. It appears to be a customary response to establishing a covenant with God. Once God has entered into a pact with an individual, it is natural to respond with worship.

Abram’s deception of Pharaoh serves as another example of a biblical hero displaying flaws. His deceit causes unnecessary trouble, and he would have been better off being honest about Sarai from the beginning.

In category:Genesis
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