Turning Point #2 – God Chooses Abraham

We are skipping over a lot of interesting stuff and over about 2000 years of history. We are bypassing the flood for example, which may seem odd. For the purposes of this study the story of Noah is a lot like Genesis 3. It is just another example of man’s failure to get it right…and the need for God to act.

Genesis 12 is a turning point because God takes a specific step to begin to bring his plan to pass. He selects Abraham to be the father of a nation through whom he will bring the Savior into the world.

Today’s reading is Genesis 12:1-4, the “call of Abraham”. Note that God gave Abraham commandments and promises.

You could breakdown these promises different ways but we often reduce them to 3 main promises:

  1. “I will make you a great nation” (Verse 2) . This is an interesting promise because at this time Abraham was 75 years old and childless.
  2. “A land that I will show you” (Verse 1). God is going to give to Abraham a land for this nation to dwell in. This is the land of Canaan.
  3. “In you all nations of the earth will be blessed” (verse 3). If we fast forward another 2000 years to the New Testament we see clearly that promise #3 is referring Jesus who was a descendant of Abraham (Galatians 3:8) and the blessing of forgiveness of sin.

In our study going forward we will see that God will use this nation (the nation of Israel) to bring the Savior into the world.

Many things about the nation prepare the world to receive Jesus. The nations failures and successes and it’s villans and heros are examples and will teach us about how we ought to live before God. The nations laws and prophecies all point to Jesus. And again, physically, Jesus will be in the bloodline of Abraham.

Questions:

  • How is the scope of promise #3 different from 1 and 2? Why is that significant?
  • Put yourself in Abraham’s shoes and imagine what a tough thing it would be to leave your past life behind and go on an uncertain journey trusting the promises of God. What does verse 4 teach us about Abraham?
  • How is the call to be a Christian similar to the call of Abraham?

Tomorrow: The Exodus From Egypt.

5 thoughts on “Turning Point #2 – God Chooses Abraham

  1. When I read this, I think of the movie Field of Dreams… Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) is living a settled life with his family on a farm in Dyersville (Dubuque County) Iowa. Suddenly, he hears a voice in the middle of the night. He does not know who is speaking… he can barely make sense of the meaning of the “call.” “If you build it, he will come.” Most everyone thinks Ray is crazy for paying attention to the voice in the night. But Ray is captivated by the voice… and the rest is movie history.

    I think God spoke to Abraham in much the same way. If you leave your life as you know it, I will show you a land and I will make you a great nation and you will be a blessing.

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  2. #3 is much greater, and more important & powerful, than #1, & #2. #1 & #2, are necessary to get to & fulfill #3. #1 & #2, are about a great nation and a land. But, #3, Jesus, seems to be what the whole Bible teaches about, brings about, then, even after his death, God, through Jesus gives us the most important thing, grace, forgiveness of sin, & all promise of life in Heaven, as long as we keep God & Jesus’ word, & what the Holy Spirit helps the apostles write, so that we can have the correct, important things we need to do right. Is this correct??

    As soon as God spoke to Abraham, he immediately got up, left, even though he was already 75 yrs old, and believed God with all his heart.

    The call to be a Christian is similar to the call of Abraham because we are to act & do the exact same thing. Hear, believe, (& act) repent, confess, & be baptized. And, we are not supposed to tarry about it, just like Abraham didn’t, & went immediately.

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    1. That’s all good points. Am looking for something else important, maybe too obvious but let’s see if someone comes up it hit.

      But your correct #3 is much more important!

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  3. The difference in the 3 promises I was thinking about was:

    #1 and #2 (Land and Nation) are physical, #3 is spiritual (Christ’s death for our sins).

    Also…and this was the answer i was looking for….1 and 2 are about one nation…the nation iof Israel in the land of Palestine. #3 is for ALL Nations. This is important because it shows that God’s plan all along is not just for the Jewish people but rather He is using them to bring about His ultimate purpose to save everyone! God loves everyone!

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