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:
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- 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.