The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide the backstory for the rest of the Bible. There are repetitive cycles throughout history that are revealed in the Bible. First, God perfectly created all things to glorify Himself. Second, there was rebellion in God’s creation by those sentient beings He created, angels followed by mankind. Third, all of God’s creation was damaged by that rebellion. Fourth, God judged that rebellion. Exile from God’s presence was the result. Fifth, God entered the chaos and confusion caused by that rebellion to restore His creation to Himself. Identifying these cycles in the biblical narrative is essential to understanding what God teaches through the Bible and applying it appropriately to our own lives in this age.
Genesis twelve opens with the beginning of a new cycle in God’s plan for all of history. Abraham left his home near the Persian Gulf to enter the land promised as an eternal inheritance to his specified physical descendants forever. As the father of the Jewish people, God made an unconditional covenant with Abraham. Teach others the story of Abraham well and those you disciple will understand the times in which we now live.
Main Story Points
1. Terah, a pagan idol maker, moved his family (Abram, Sarai, Lot) from Ur to Haran where he died.
2. Quote: “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” NASB
3. Abram, Sarai, and Lot moved to Canaan, the land God promised his descendants through Sarai.
4. Quote: “Then he believed the Lord; and He (God) reckoned it to him as righteousness.” NASB
5. Past childbearing years, Sarai gave Hagar to Abram to produce an heir to receive God’s promised blessings. Ishmael was not the son God promised Abram and Sarai.
6. Abram and Sarai were given new names, Abraham and Sarah.
7. The pre-incarnate Christ visited Abraham on His way to Sodom. He told Abraham that within a year Sarah would conceive and give Abraham a son.
8. Overhearing the conversation, Sarah laughed at the thought but denied laughing when confronted by the Lord.
9. Just as God said, Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac which means “laughter.”
10. Through Isaac and his son Jacob, God would produce the nation that would be both
a burden and a blessing to the whole world.
Points to Ponder
1. God unconditional covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is still unfolding to this very day. All of it will be completely fulfilled!
2. God has not changed the conditions of His covenantal relationship with Abraham. If He had what impact would that have on the relationship we as New Testament believers have with Him?
3. Consider the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. What relevance does the story of Abraham have to what is happening in the world around us today?
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