Thursday, June 26, 2008

Genesis 12

by Robert Fraire

Recently I was given the privilege of teaching and shepherding the Friendship class at Lakeside. The first subject we are covering is the book of Genesis. It is a huge endeavour, and it will take us a long time to complete it. But the effort will be well worth it. Genesis is God's revelation of how he began everything. All the big questions in life are answered in Genesis.

Before I began teaching, Dr. Deckert taught through the first 11 chapters. This is actually a great place to transition because Chapter 12 is a key transition point in Genesis. At this point, Moses, through the Holy Spirit's guidance narrows the focus from all of humanity to the life of one man: Abram.

Abram (who God will rename Abraham) was called by God out of his home, Ur to go to a foreign country, Canaan. Why is this important? Because at this point in scripture we are introduced to God's sovereign call on a man's life. Remember that in Genesis we have already been introduced to God's sovereignty in creation, His sovereignty over the earth and over mankind as a whole. Now we see God's call of Abraham.

From Genesis 12 verses 1-3 we see the following:

1Now the LORD said to Abram,
"Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father's house,
To the land which I will show you;
2And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3And 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."

The points to notice here is that Abraham was not a follower of God. He was not rich or powerful, he did not seek after God. God called him, God drew him to himself and then makes a covenant with him.

God's will always comes about. God called Abraham, because He willed that Abraham would follow him. He makes a promise of blessing to Abraham, BEFORE Abraham does anything!

And finally God prophecies the coming of Jesus Christ in the phrase "And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." This truth is revealed more clearly to us in the New Testament book of Galatians 3:8 - The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU."

Abraham then does leave his home and go to Canaan, he does respond to God's sovereign calling and drawing. This chapter therefore lays the foundation of Abraham's relationship with God.

God called him, God made promises to him, God promises blessings to him, and God prophesies that Jesus would come through his line. And it is in response to all this that God does that Abraham obeys. This order is essential and will be seen even more in coming chapters.

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