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Title Page. Lesson Three. Genesis 12:1-3. Genesis 12:1-3 1 Now the L ORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
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Genesis 12:1-3 Genesis 12:1-3 1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Genesis 12:4-5 Genesis 12:4-5 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
Genesis 12:6-7 Genesis 12:6-7 6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Genesis 12:8-10 Genesis 12:8-10 8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. 10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
Genesis 12:16-18 Genesis 12:16-18 16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
Genesis 12:19-20 Genesis 12:19-20 19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Focus Verse Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.
Focus Thought God chose Abraham out of an idolatrous land to be the father of a great nation from which He would reveal His mighty power. Out of this nation a Savior to redeem the world would be born.
Introduction Introduction The call of Abraham initiated a radically new development in the God-man relationship. His calling set in motion a series of events that ultimately would heal the breach that sin had placed between God and mankind.
Introduction Abraham and his descendants became central players in the drama of redemption. His personal and family story created streams of human events that flow through the rest of the Bible.
Introduction Abraham was the first patriarch and the founder of the Hebrew nation. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all regard him as a father figure. He was dignified, firm in his faith, and respected by locals everywhere he went.
Introduction Almost four thousand years ago, he moved with his entourage across the eastern world from Ur in southern Mesopotamia, to Haran in northern Mesopotamia, to Egypt by way of a brief stop in Canaan, and ultimately back to Canaan.
Introduction The drama of his life provides a narrative of God’s covenant with mankind and the struggles of faith that mankind faces as he attempts to hold to those covenant promises.
Introduction Abraham became the father of a nation of people that exerted momentous influence on the salvation of the world. Only ten generations after the Flood, the world once again was forgetful of the Creator. God’s response this time was not to bring calamity upon the world, but to choose a man, and through him a nation, to be a witness on the earth.
Introduction God chose to plant these people in a special land and to isolate them from others, placing them under a peculiar constitution and entrusting them as guardians of ancient truths and future hopes of a Savior of the human race. This choice would cause the broad biblical narrative of people and empires to narrow into a smaller stream of a particular family or nation.
Abraham Chosen I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) From Ur of the Chaldees Inhabited by the Sumerians, who were the creators of the Mesopotamian civilization, Ur of the Chaldees was located in southern Babylonia (modern Iraq). Politically, it consisted of city-states, and life revolved around their heathen temples.
I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) The temple scribes had invented cuneiform, one of the earliest forms of writing. For those ancient times, it was a sophisticated culture. At the time of Abraham’s call, the Ur of the Chaldees had begun to decline from its former glory.
I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) Terah, Abraham’s father, moved his family to Haran, which is in northwest Mesopotamia. Haran was a point of divergence between the great caravan routes toward various fords of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.
I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) After Terah died in Haran, Abraham, at age seventy-five, heard the call of God to leave his relatives and move southward and westward toward the Land of Promise. (See Genesis 12:1-5; Acts 7:2-4).
From a Family Who Worshiped Idols I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) Due to wars and the influx of foreigners, Babylonia had begun to diminish from its former days at the time of Abraham’s call. The Babylonians were polytheistic, and each city-state had its own gods and goddesses. Abraham’s family had become tainted by the idolatrous practices of Mesopotamia.
Joshua 24:2 “And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods” (Joshua 24:2).
I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) God does not disqualify someone because of his background or pedigree. He looks beyond the outward appearance and looks on the heart. For example, the Lord enlightened Samuel as he went to Jesse’s house to discover and anoint a king for Israel.
I Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).
I. Abraham Chosen (A-B) God chose Abraham because He understood that Abraham would have the faith to follow His commands.
For His Trustworthiness I. Abraham Chosen (C) “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10).
I. Abraham Chosen (C) God chose Abraham. We do not choose God, but He chooses us and we respond. Jesus declared to His disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). He also stated, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44).
I. Abraham Chosen (C) God orchestrates the relationship we have with Him: “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
I. Abraham Chosen (C) God is the one who gives us faith to believe His promises: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul declared to the Romans that God had given every person the ability to believe (Romans 12:3).
I. Abraham Chosen (C) God trusted Abraham to become the progenitor of the nation that would bring a Savior into the world through his lineage. The faithfulness of Abraham was greatly important.
I. Abraham Chosen (C) If Abraham had failed, God could have called someone else. Nevertheless, Abraham was God’s choice. Each of us has a calling upon our lives. Perhaps our calling is not as pivotal as Abraham’s, but we should remember that God is depending on us.
Abraham’s Promise II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) He Will Be the Father of a Great Nation After the death of Terah, Abraham’s father, the Lord came to Abraham and asked him to leave Haran and his father’s family (Genesis 11:32; 12:1-3). He simply told Abraham to go to “a land that I will show you.”
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) Along with the instructions to leave Haran, God gave him several promises if he would be obedient. One of those was that he would become a great nation. With his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all of his possessions, he left Haran, crossed the Euphrates, and headed toward the land of Canaan.
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) At his advanced age, with no children, and not understanding how it would happen, Abraham believed that God would fulfill His promise. Building a family is one thing, but building a nation is another. This meant that his future descendants would grow in great numbers and coalesce into a tribe of people.
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) They would build cities, organize armies, and develop their own laws of government and social order. They would become an entity of people with culture and distinction. The greatest distinction was that they would be unique from their neighbors, who were polytheistic, and would serve the one and only God, Jehovah.
He Would Be the Recipient of Great Blessings II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) The Bible states that Abraham would be the recipient of great blessings as well as being a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Abraham’s obedience would set off a chain reaction of being blessed and of being a blessing.
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) He would be blessed with children, wealth, prestige, honor, and God’s protection. God even promised to bless those who blessed Abraham and to curse those who cursed him.
His Name Would Be Great II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) God changed Abram’s name, which means “exalted father,” to Abraham, which means “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5).
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) God’s promise to make Abraham’s name great was perhaps one of the most awesome promises of all. The wise man wrote, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) Living a lifetime and retaining a good name is the essence of a successful life. Solomon also penned the words, “A good name is better than precious ointment” (Ecclesiastes 7:1). A good name is fragile. One mistake can destroy the integrity of a lifetime.
Proverbs 10:7 “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot” (Proverbs 10:7).
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) Abraham was not a perfect man, but the day that he died, his reputation was sealed. He provides for every believer a model in the following ways:
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) • Obedient. He left home and family to obey God (Genesis 12:4). • Courageous. He rescued Lot from marauding kings (Genesis 14:14-16). • Benevolent. He paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20).
II. Abraham’s Promise (A-C) • Unselfish. He gave Lot the choice land (Genesis 13:9). • Prayerful. He interceded for Sodom and Lot (Genesis 18:23-33). • Faithful. He was willing to offer his only son as a sacrifice (Hebrews 11:17).
All the Families of the Earth Would Be Blessed II. Abraham’s Promise (D) “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians 3:8-9).
II. Abraham’s Promise (D) The call of Abraham was the debut event of a glorious door of hope for the entire world. Salvation came, not just for Abraham’s seed, but for the Gentiles as well. (See Galatians 3:29.) Jesus came into the world through the seed of Abraham to redeem lost humanity. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16).
Abraham’s Obedience III. Abraham’s Obedience (A-C) Separated Himself as God Required Abraham probably encountered the Lord before moving to Haran. As the worshiper of one God who lived among polytheistic relatives, God wanted him out of such a culture. Not only did God want to plant Abraham in the land of Canaan, but He also wanted to get him out of Haran.
III. Abraham’s Obedience (A-C) Separation continues to be an important principle of God. Paul declared, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17).
Continued until Destination Reached III. Abraham’s Obedience (A-C) Abraham moved southward into the heart of the land of Canaan. First he traveled to Shechem, which was a journey of almost two hundred miles. This was an arduous undertaking considering the modes of travel in those days. His departure from Haran and his relatives was a radical move.