Genesis 11:27 – 12:20

Abram comes from Ur.  It probably isn’t the Ur that the archaeologists have found in southern Mesopotamia.  It’s probably one in north-central Mesopotamia, but that does not make Abram’s journey any less remarkable.  He left his people;  He left his family; he left what he knew; and he ventured out into the unknown.  All he had was a promise from God that his barren wife of advanced years would go with him and they would found a nation.  Abram’s faith is remarkable, but he is a man like us and does some really questionable things.  What is God calling you toward?

Genesis 11:27 – 12:20

 27 This is the account of Terah.
      Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.

 31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

 32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.  

 1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

 2 “I will make you into a great nation
       and I will bless you;
       I will make your name great,
       and you will be a blessing.

 3 I will bless those who bless you,
       and whoever curses you I will curse;
       and all peoples on earth
       will be blessed through you.”

 4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring <SUP class=footnote value='[a]’>[a] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

 10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

 14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.

 17 But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

Questions

  1. Did you read this passage thoughtfully?  If not, read it again.
  2. Whose account is this?
  3. What is the command to action the the LORD gives Abram?
  4. What is Abram’s response?
  5. What is your response to the life God has called you to live?

Going Deeper

Observation

  • What will God make of Abram?
  • What word is repeated in various forms in God’s poetic speech?
  • Who went with Abram?
  • What caused Abram to build an altar?
  • What was the Egyptians reaction to Sarai?

Interpretation

  • Who are the children of Abram?
  • How has Israel been a blessing?
  • Where is Shechem?
  • What does Bethel mean?
  • How could the Egyptians find an old woman so attractive?

Application

  • As Abram’s child through faith, do you exhibit the kind of faith Abram had?  Give an example.
  • Is Israel still a blessing to the world?  What about Jewish people as a race?
  • Does geography have significance in God’s plans?  What about the future?
  • How do you manage your family in a crisis?
  • How has God cared for you when you are a numbskull?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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