Genesis 12:1-3 “…To a land that I will show you…I will make you a great nation…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”
The Abrahamic covenant. God told Abram to leave his country and extended family and go to a land that He would show him. For His part, God would give Abram a land of his own, make his descendants a great nation, and make Abram a great blessing on all the world. The fulfillment of this was the land of Israel and the Jewish nation. The land has been given to the Jews for an everlasting possession, and the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, came from the Jewish nation which still exists today. This tells why Terah, Abram, Sarai, and Lot left Ur at the end of chapter 11 and went to Haran.
4 “…Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran”
They made it to Haran where Terah died. But this was not the land that God had promised, so Abram continued on. He is seventy-five years old, fairly wealthy, but has no children. I know their life spans were longer than current ones, but I’m still impressed that he didn’t use his age as an excuse to refuse God’s request. Instead of looking for a nice place to settle down with all he had, he took God at His word and moved all of his possessions in the direction God said to go.
5 “…the people whom they had acquired in Haran…”
Servants and possibly slaves. Servants and slaves were also born in-house.
6-7 “…Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem…Canaanites were then in the land…LORD…said ‘To your descendants I will give this land’…he built an altar to the LORD…”
Abram left Haran and entered the land of Canaan all the way to Shechem, near the center of the country, and God spoke to him. God repeated His promise to give Abram’s descendants the land, even though at this point the Canaanite tribes are still living there. Possession has passed to Abram by promise of God, and His promises are not revoked. It mentions Abram built an altar and called on the name of God. He then moved a ways farther south and did the same thing. I think we’re being shown that worship of God has now become a priority for Abram.
God didn’t choose the land of Canaan by chance. If you look at it on a map with respect to how the family groups migrated after the flood, you see it is the land passage between north and south. Those going from the European/Asian continent to the African continent would pass through the land. Once God had settled the Israelites in the land, they would be in a position to tell others passing through about God. This is the reason they are God’s chosen people. They had direct knowledge of God, could tell others about Him, and the Messiah would come from them. Unfortunately, they never lived up to all the reasons they were chosen. Chosen to be a blessing, but more concerned with receiving one.
10-13 “…there was a famine in the land…Please say you are my sister…”
First hint we get that Abram is not perfect. He worships God, and God has called him for a purpose, but he is still a man with a sin nature. Even though God has brought him to the land, and he has been worshipping God, he fails to check with God when the famine comes and follows his earthly reasoning. While we can see why moving to Egypt would make sense, it wasn’t what God called him to do. And once there, he was deceitful to the Egyptians. He thought his thinking was logical, but he had no way of knowing how others would react. They may have respected his person and possessions, but he didn’t give them a chance. He also didn’t rely on God to keep him safe. Certainly none of this behavior was a surprise to God. He doesn’t choose people because they are perfect. He only asks that we trust Him and be obedient.
17-20 “…Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai…they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had”
God was watching. He’s trying to teach Abram to trust Him fully. He’s also using the disdain of the Egyptians over what Abram did to push Abram back into the land.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.