SBC Banner


Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

July 15, 2015

Genesis 11:10-32, 12:1-7

  1. Verse 10. 11 chapters in Genesis cover the period from creation to Abraham, and 14 chapters are devoted to the life of Abraham. There is a greater time span in the first 11 chapters than the next 14, but the writer is not trying to detail everything about ancient history. The writer is capturing the important details that connect the children of Israel to Abraham and show how Abraham came from Noah, and how Noah came from Adam. Many people are left out, but the key figures that God used are the ones that are included. The reader is supposed to see a sacred thread that connects these people and how God used them to the ultimate person of history Jesus Christ. God did many things through all people, but the account we have has been given for us to see how the Savior came into the world. Chapter 10 lists the three sons of Noah. God chose Shem as the line through which He would bring blessing to the world. Of Shem's five sons (10:22), God chose Arpachshad. In each case we read, ”he had other sons and daughters," but only one of those offspring was chosen in the genealogy leading from Noah through Shem to Abraham and eventually to Christ.

  2. Verses 2-26. In this section we see the line by which Abraham would come through. This section closes with Abraham's father Terah being born and having three sons. The son that would be the focus is Abram.

  3. Verses 27-32. The genealogy from Terah to Abram is highlighted with the mention of his other sons and their wives and children. We see Abram and his brother Nahor. Abraham married Sarai, while Nahor married Milkah the daughter of his brother Haran who died. Haran also had a son named Lot. The text says that Terah wanted to take his family to Canaan, but instead they stopped off at Harran and they settled there instead of pressing on towards Canaan. We are not really given a reason why they wanted to go to Canaan. Moses did not give us all the background needed to properly grasp the significance of the call of Abram, but it has been recorded for us in the Bible. Stephen clarifies the time that Abram was first called of God. It was not in Haran, as a casual reading of Genesis 12 might incline us to believe, but in Ur. As Stephen stood before his unbelieving Jewish brethren, he recounted the history of God's chosen people, beginning with the call of Abraham: And he said, ‘Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran and said to him, “Depart from your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you” (Acts 7:2-3). What we see is that part of the oral history that Stephen knew was that Abraham and his people know of some sort of call towards Canaan, but they stopped for some reason and settled before they got there. Don't stop in Harran if Canaan is your destination.

  4. Chapter 12:1-2. In one sense, the command of God to Abram was very specific. Abram was told in detail what he must leave behind. He must leave his country, his relatives, and his father's house. God was going to make a new nation, not merely revise an existing one. Little of the culture, religion, or philosophy of the people of Ur was to be a part of what God planned to do with His people, Israel. On the other hand, God’s command was deliberately vague. While what was to be left behind was crystal clear, what lay ahead was distressingly devoid of detail: to the land which l will show you." Abram did not even know where he would settle. As the writer to the Hebrews put it,”... he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). The faith to which we are called is not faith in a plan, but faith in a person. Much more important than where he was, God was concerned with who he was, and in Whom he trusted. God is not nearly so concerned with geography as He is with godliness. The relationship between the command of God to Abram in verse 1 and the incident at Babel in chapter 11 should not be overlooked. At Babel men chose to disregard the command of God to disperse and populate the earth. They strove to find security and renown by banding together and building a great city (11:3-4). They sought blessing in the product of their own labors, rather than in the promise of God. The command of God to Abram is, in effect, a reversal of what man attempted at Babel. Abram was secure and comfortable in Ur, a great city. God called him to leave that city and to exchange his townhouse for a tent. God promised Abram a great name (what the people of Babel sought, 11:4) as a result of leaving Ur, leaving the security of his relatives, and trusting only in God. How unlike man's ways are from God’s.

  5. Verses 2-3. Three major promises are contained in verses 2 and 3: a land; a seed; and a blessing. The land, as we have already said, is implied in verse 1. At the time of the call, Abram did not know where this land was. At Shechem, God promised to give ‘this land’ to Abram (12:7). It was not until chapter 15 that a full description of the land was given: (Genesis 15:18). This land never belonged to Abram in his lifetime, even as God had said (15:13-16). When Sarah died, he had to buy a portion of the land for a burial site (23:3ff.). Those who first read the book of Genesis were about to take possession of the land which was promised to Abram. What a thrill that must have been for the people of Moses’ day to read this promise and realize that the time for possession had come. The second promise of the Abrahamic Covenant was that of a great nation coming from Abram. Initially this would be through actual physical descendants, but ultimately this would be through spiritual descendants of faith in God. This promise demanded faith on the part of Abram, for it was obvious that he was already aged, and that Sarai, his wife, was incapable of having children (11:30). It would be many years before Abram would fully grasp that this heir that God had promised would come from the union of he and Sarai. The final promise was that of a blessing—blessing for him, and blessing through him. Much of Abram’s blessing was to come in the form of his offspring, but there was also the blessing that would come in the form of the Messiah (see Galatians 3:6-29).

  6. Verse 4-6. Abram left. He just moved. He was tired of ordinary. He was ready to go. Is there anybody here that is ready to go? Not only did he go but some other people left as well. Who are you going to take out of ordinary? You are not the only one that is ready to go. His nephew lot was also ready. Lot didn't hear God for himself, but he saw Abram faith. Your faith might be enough to convince somebody else that God is real. Your actions are either making more believers or more doubters. The text says in verse 4 that Abram was 75 years old when God decided call him. Abram had a personal obstacle (1) of his age and the limitations that come with his age. But in spite of all of that God still called him. God calls us in spite of our personal challenges. We have to just deal with them. There no one in here that doesn't have some challenges, some obstacles, and some reasons why they don't think that they could step up to the challenge, but God wants us any way. Don't let your personal limitations keep you from experiencing what God has for you. The second obstacle that Abram had to face was that it was 500 miles from Harran to Canaan. Abram had to be patient. He wasn't going to get there overnight. Somebody in here needs to know that the journey will not be complete in one night. Many of us can't step up to the level that God has for us because we don't have the patience to wait on God. The third obstacle Abram had was the people that were already in Canaan. Even when you get to where you are supposed to be, don't think that you won't have to fight to keep it. Do you think that you are just going to be able to go into enemy territory and be blessed and have no hater, no enemies and no one that wants to take you down? As soon as you begin to operate in the blessings and miracles of God. All of hell will be on your trail. You will find enemies you didn't even know you had. Abram was going to have to deal with the folks that were already there.

  7. Verse 7. The bible says in verse 5 that Abram left toward Canaan. God doesn't tell him what he will get until he gets there. Notice that it is not until he gets to the place that God tells him that he will get all this land. In verses 2-3 God just tells him that he is going to be great. In verse 7 God shows him what he will get. If you don't step out of ordinary and step past the obstacles you will never see the opportunity that God has for you. There are some opportunities that you will never even hear about until get to your destination.

click here to select another lesson