1 Genesis 12A (2011) Last week we turned the crner int part tw f Genesis Part ne f Genesis was a trilgy f srts A three-part stry f the never-ending, all-cnsuming destructive pwer f sin It began with the sin f the garden And Gd respnded by denying man fellwship with Himself It cntinued with the depravity f ancient men with the chabitatin f demns Gd respnded by denying man their land, drwning mankind, separating cntinents, mving muntains And leaving a small family t restart humanity Finally, it prgressed t a united rebellius peple wrshipping false gds, seeking a name fr themselves And s Gd respnded by scattering them, denying man fellwship with the ther families f the earth Causing men t separate and live in islatin frm ne anther Fellwship with Gd, peace in the land, and a family f descendants Three things taken frm mankind because f the destructive effects f sin At this rate, sinful man will bring himself t nthing if smething isn t dne t crrect the prblem f sin Enter Gd s prmise t Abram Gen. 12:1 Nw the LORD said t Abram, G frth frm yur cuntry, And frm yur relatives And frm yur father s huse, T the land which I will shw yu; 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
2 Genesis 12A 2 Gen. 12:2 And I will make yu a great natin, And I will bless yu, And make yur name great; And s yu shall be a blessing; Gen. 12:3 And I will bless thse wh bless yu, And the ne wh curses yu I will curse. And in yu all the families f the earth will be blessed. At the end f chapter 11, we were tld that Abram s father tk Abram and Abram s family and traveled back t Haran, Terah s hme twn Mses tld us in Chapter 11 that the purpse f the travel was fr Abram t enter int Canaan Nw Mses explains why the family made such an unusual mve They were beying Gd s cmmand t mve accrding t His directin Chapter 11 als tld us that Terahn died while they were in Haran But nw Abram begins t mve again, and makes his way directly int Canaan And Mses gives us the detail in chapter 12 fr what prmpted Abram t makes this jurney He receives this astnishing revelatin frm Gd Remember, Abram and his father knew nthing f the ne true Gd befre this mment One day Abram is just minding his wn business, wrshipping pagan gds like everyne else Then Gd appeared in sme manner and reveals Himself t Abram He tells Abram t leave his wn cuntry and relatives and his father s huse and enter a strange land that Gd will reveal And Gd declares that He will bring Abram t glry, with a great name, a great natin f peple, a man f strength 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
3 Genesis 12A 3 And a man wh will bless all the families r natins f the earth That s quite a prmise, the first f seven times Gd will appear t Abram (later Abraham) But ntice it begins with a cmmand Gd tells Abram that Abram must begin this chain by an bedient step f leaving his hme Mre specifically, Abram must leave his cuntry, Ur He must leave his relatives, his extended family Finally, he must leave his father s huse, that is his father s ancestral hme in Haran Gd s plan t use Abram depends n Abram leaving everything in the wrld in which Abram finds his identity and security Instead, he must bey Gd s vice, depend n Gd s prmises and rely n His prvisin We might stp and wnder at this pint what might have happened had Abram never beyed, but such speculatin is pintless Abram did bey, and scripture tells us why Abram felt cmpelled t take that step Heb. 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, beyed by ging ut t a place which he was t receive fr an inheritance; and he went ut, nt knwing where he was ging. Abram had n idea where he was ging, but he had faith in Gd s wrd And that faith cmpelled him frward, vercame his dubts and bjectins and brught him int Gd s blessing In the first three verses, Gd begins t reveal His cvenant with Abram This isn t the mment the cvenant is fficially inaugurated...that cmes in a later chapter But it s n less sure at this pint 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
4 Genesis 12A 4 Gd is merely revealing His prmises t Abram in stages And at this early pint, Gd has tld Abram everything he needs t knw Hebrews 11:8 makes clear that Abram is acting in faith f Gd s prmises Hwever Gd made it happen, He revealed Himself t Abram in such a manner that Abram came t knw Gd truly And in hearing Gd s wrd in these prmises, Abram believed And at this mment, Abram has begun his walk f faith In a later chapter f Genesis, we see Gd declaring Abram righteus in recgnitin f His faith But Heb 11 tells us that Abram s faith began as He departed Ur In fact, it was because f Abram s faith that he left the East and jurneyed t the West It s easy t see why Abram has becme the classic Biblical picture f walking in faith Gd reveals Himself tday thrugh His Sn Jesus Christ The same bk Hebrews tells us that by all the past revelatin, Gd was building tward the full measure f Christ Heb. 1:1 Gd, after He spke lng ag t the fathers in the prphets in many prtins and in many ways, Heb. 1:2 in these last days has spken t us in His Sn, whm He appinted heir f all things, thrugh whm als He made the wrld. And by that revelatin, we have the same pprtunity t bey like Abram did And we are asked t d the same things Abram did In spiritual terms, we are asked t leave behind the wrld we knew, ur pursuit f self and pride and seek Gd s kingdm 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
5 Genesis 12A 5 Jhn 12:25 He wh lves his life lses it, and he wh hates his life in this wrld will keep it t life eternal. Like Abram, we are asked t frsake family cnnectins if necessary t bey Gd cmpletely Matt. 10:37 He wh lves father r mther mre than Me is nt wrthy f Me; and he wh lves sn r daughter mre than Me is nt wrthy f Me. Fllwing Jesus means we turn ur back n the wrld And in place f what the wrld ffers, we trust that what Jesus hlds in stre fr us is s much better And like Abram didn t knw what Gd was prepared t ffer Abram as an inheritance, we t are in the dark We understand we ve been rescued frm the penalty f ur sin n the basis f ur faith But that s just ur starting pint, like Abram hearing Gd in Ur and cming t knw Gd in the face f Jesus But then ur walk begins, and we walk faithfully because we trust Gd s prmise f an inheritance And we lk frward t smething greater that can t be fund in this wrld Just like Abram did Heb. 11:9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land f prmise, as in a freign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacb, fellw heirs f the same prmise; Heb. 11:10 fr he was lking fr the city which has fundatins, whse architect and builder is Gd. S it s easy t see why s many generatins f Gd s children have lked back at Abram s call and recgnized Gd s fingerprints in their wn lives And as we begin a detailed examinatin f the man and his life f faith, we ll have plenty f pprtunity t draw cmparisns t ur wn walk f faith Fr example, let s lk at the prmises Abram heard while in Ur 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
6 Genesis 12A 6 It came in three parts Gd will elabrate n these three parts during His six additinal appearances But we see the framewrk established here First, Abram is tld that he is being sent t a new land, a land Gd will reveal Abram will begin a lng walk t a strange land withut a clear idea f what he will find there Yu might cmpare Abram s walk f faith t a husband wh has been blindflded and is taken by the hand by his wife wh has a surprise waiting in the next rm The husband fllws the wife trusting that smething gd is cming, but he desn t knw where s he s ging r what he will find Once he arrives, the wife remves the blindfld and reveals a new HDTV S first, Abram is given a prmise f land, an inheritance Gd appints Secndly, Gd says in v.2 that Abram will be granted a natin (r family) and he will btain a name that will be great This prmises is especially interesting since we knw Abram s wife is barren Yet smehw Abram is tld t expect that a new natin will cme frm him In Chapter 10 we heard that Gd created 70 natins frm Nah Nw we hear that Gd is prepared t create a 71 st natin frm Abram And t be sure the wrld knws it was a natin birthed by Gd, the wife f Abram starts the stry barren S Abram will receive a new family and this psterity will result in Abram s name becming great 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
7 Genesis 12A 7 Finally, Abram will be a blessing t the wrld He will see thse wh bless him be blessed And thse wh curse him will be cursed by Gd Each f these prmises have a specific fulfillment in the life f Abram and family f peple that cme frm him Fr example, Abram s prmise f a natin and a name is fulfilled in the rise f Israel and the reverence they have fr their father Abraham He receives a new name when he becmes Abraham And he will btain fame that extends even tday and t Jews, Arabs and Christians The prmise f land is eventually fulfilled by the twelve tribes f Israel receiving the land f Canaan And Abram will eventually receive this land in the future kingdm when Christ returns t Earth Finally, the prmise f blessing and cursing can be seen in Abram s life and in Israel generally, Bth find Gd prtecting them frm adversaries and blessing their allies But these prmises als have greater fulfillment in a spiritual sense Lking at the prmise in reverse rder, fr example Abram was tld that thrugh him the families f the Earth will be blessed The ultimate fulfillment f this prmise is understd t be Jesus Himself We ll see this mre clearly in future chapters as Gd reveals it t Abram We ll see that the blessing Gd intends t deliver t the wrld thrugh Abram will be fully realized in the Messiah Furthermre, Gd says that thse wh bless and curse Abram will receive the same in return 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
8 Genesis 12A 8 Remember, we ve said befre that curse in the Bible means eternal damnatin A sentence f hell that can t be reversed S blessing and curses are juxtapsed here t suggest a cntrast between heaven and hell Thse wh align themselves with Abram s example f faith in Gd s wrd will see the same spiritual utcme that Abram sees: salvatin and eternal blessing But thse wh ppse Abram s example, thse wh remain aligned with the wrld, will receive the wages f their sin and eternal judgment And in this way, Gd s prmise t Abram will becme the means fr bringing blessing t the families (r tribes) f the earth Next, Abram is tld he will receive a name fr himself, and s will thse wh fllw in his ftsteps Jesus says t believers that as we arrive in His presence we receive new names that nly Jesus knws Names that reflect ur hnr and service t Him Rev. 2:17 He wh has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says t the churches. T him wh vercmes, t him I will give sme f the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stne, and a new name written n the stne which n ne knws but he wh receives it. Finally, Abram was prmised an inheritance in the land And we wh have fllwed Abram s example f trusting in Gd s wrd als have an eternal inheritance awaiting Like Abram and his descendants, we will have a place in the kingdm t call ur wn And we will receive rewards that fllw us int that wrld as a reflectin f ur service and faithfulness t Christ in these days f waiting 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
9 Genesis 12A 9 Just as Abram s blessing was cntingent n his willingness t walk and fllw Gd, s des ur inheritance turn n ur bedience Our faith and therefre ur salvatin is by Gd s grace and isn t in questin But t receive the full measure f ur inheritance, we must be willing t let Gd t lead us by hand and shw us a better place and a new life These three prmises are the gateway int all that fllws in the entire Bible They represent nt nly Gd s kindness and mercy t a man named Abram But they are Gd s grace and lve t a fallen wrld In fact, I want yu t remember the trilgy f chapters 1-11 again We saw sinful men lse fellwship in Gd s presence and in Gd s kingdm in the Garden We watched sinful men wiped ff their land and lse their lives in the fld We witnessed idl wrshipping men seeking a name fr themselves nly t be separated frm their families and scattered Nw in chapter 12, Gd sets the terms fr crrecting all three sad episdes By these prmises t Abram, Gd prvides the means by which He will restre ur fellwship with Him And He sets us firmly in ur inheritance in the future land f the Kingdm withut fear f ever suffering lss again And He gives us new names that glrifies Gd, and He grants us adptin int the family f Gd, calling us sns and daughters, And gives us ne vice by which we may speak with Him, that is the vice f the Spirit The Apstle Jhn was privileged t see this fulfillment in advance in his revelatin, where he recrded the scene this way: 2011 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
10 Genesis 12A 10 Rev. 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; fr the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is n lnger any sea. Rev. 21:2 And I saw the hly city, new Jerusalem, cming dwn ut f heaven frm Gd, made ready as a bride adrned fr her husband. Rev. 21:3 And I heard a lud vice frm the thrne, saying, Behld, the tabernacle f Gd is amng men, and He will dwell amng them, and they shall be His peple, and Gd Himself will be amng them, Rev. 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear frm their eyes; and there will n lnger be any death; there will n lnger be any murning, r crying, r pain; the first things have passed away. In cnsidering Gd s plan in all its intricate detail brings t mind Paul s exclamatin at the end f Rmans 11, and I can think f n mre fitting way t clse ur lessn: Rm. 11:33 Oh, the depth f the riches bth f the wisdm and knwledge f Gd! Hw unsearchable are His judgments and unfathmable His ways! Rm. 11:34 Fr WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Rm. 11:35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? Rm. 11:36 Fr frm Him and thrugh Him and t Him are all things. T Him be the glry frever. Amen Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.