Thursday 6th January 2022

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GENESIS 11, 12, and 13

Abraham:  The Man of Faith and the Friend of God. 

It is hard to overstate the importance of Abraham to the purposes of God in his redemption of mankind.  Missing out on the next few days’ bible readings will be a major setback in your understanding of the entire Old Testament, and much of the New also.  In this blog, I don’t intend to repeat what I wrote in the Big Picture notes https://1drv.ms/w/s!AqmXwc9NXEEFgUU8rB51vrOw07nV, so do download these if you haven’t already.  I suggest that you read Genesis chapters 11:10-32; 12; and 13, and then consider some of these ‘starter’ thoughts and questions for today…

  • We have a third genealogy in Genesis, which connects Shem, the godly son of Noah, with Abraham (the known initially as ‘Abram’).  Notice how the lifespans of each son decrease rapidly with each generation.  The atmospheric conditions after the Great Flood were possibly very different from before it, and these may have contributed to the reduction in human longevity by allowing harmful ultra-violet and cosmic rays to reach ground level.
  • Chapter 12 starts a bit ‘randomly’ ought to begin at 11:26.  Start reading Abraham’s story there.
  • 12:1  “The Lord HAD said…”  – so where was Abraham then, and where is he now in the story?  (See also Acts 7:2.) 
  • Back at the end of chapter 11, what part did Terah, his father, play these journeys?   (Note: Terah was a Moon god worshipper.)
  • Is there any significance in the fact that Terah ‘settled’ in a town that had the same name as his dead son (Haran)?  What might that be? 
  • When did Abraham continue travelling, and why then?
  • 12:1-8  In the Middle East, gods were geographically based and household-based; the Lord therefore wanted to wean Abraham out of bad habits by moving him to a new land, and by breaking up a pagan, idolatrous household, to form a new one headed by Abraham
  • God’s seven promises to Abraham are Unconditional in these verses.  What are they?
  • A ‘Hebrew’ means a ‘Traveller’ or even a ‘Gypsy’ in our culture – generally a term of abuse!
  • Abraham was initially based at Shechem, near the site of a great tree at Moreh.  He built and altar there and God appeared to him at the same place.
  • During one of many famines, Abraham then has a ‘faith-crisis’ when he runs to Egypt and, to save his own skin, lies and offers his wife as a bride for Pharaoh.  Sarah was apparently stunningly beautiful at the age of 65!  Note that in those days, even among the pagans, adultery is seen as a major sin, and the unsuspecting king expected God’s punishment for his actions.
  • Mercifully, Abraham was restored by the Lord, recompensed, made wealthy and sent on his way from Egypt – in very similar fashion to the way Abraham’s offspring, Israel, would be treated 430 years later!
  • Lot, Abraham’s nephew was generously given first choice of home in the land of Canaan; unwisely he chose the well-watered plain of the river Jordon in the East, near the notorious towns of Sodom and Gomorrah.  This location later caused Lot a great deal of pain, inconvenience, and harm.  You cannot always choose your neighbours, but if you can, then choose wisely!
  • After Lot departed, God effectively gave Abraham the entire land, including Lot’s portion!
  • Abraham then chose a new base at Mamre in Hebron, a place that became his spiritual home and where Sarah was later buried.

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