Genesis 12:6-7 Traveling through the land. A great tree marked the spot – Shechem. Canaanites were in the land.
The Lord appeared to Abram and said – To your offspring, I will give this land. The Abrahamic covenant is repeated and reinforced when Abram arrived and saw what the vision was all about. It’s one thing to have a vision. It’s another to see the vision with your own eyes
Genesis 12:8 So, he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. – The Canaanites were there but Abram worshiped the Lord in a land not his own but promised to him. Who does this world belong to, God or man? God – thus when we worship the Lord in a strange land we are accepting His promise. The term “appeared” means that the Lord made Himself known to Abram. No longer just a voice, Abram had a visual experience.
*Abram’s altar was unlike the Canaanites altars – Abram saw and worshiped God. He was not looking for God – God was looking for him! This is the first theophany or divine revelation given to us in Scripture. God spoke first, then Abram called. Notice the sequence:
Shechem – God appears to Abram; reinforces the promise.
Bethel – Abram builds altar – calls on the name of the Lord. More than worship.
Genesis 12:9 Abram continued south, to the Negev. Perhaps the context (Gen. 12:10) tells us why he moved from Bethel.
Abram leaves the Land – Not Good.
12:10 There was a famine in the land. This was a circumstance that caused Abram to forgets God’s promises. He doubts God’s provision and protection then he leaves the land. Loses sight of the vision. Why did Abram leave the land? Why go to Egypt? “Abram showed that he needed to learn that the God who had called him and made promises could and would protect him and Sarah. Why do we look elsewhere when famine comes our way?
12:11 I know what a beautiful woman you are. – What is Abram saying here? Remember that Adam blamed “the woman you gave me.” Are women a problem for men even if they are beautiful. Why “beautiful” and not “precious” enough to protect?
12:12 Abram attributes evil motives to the Egyptians. Why? Do they have the reputation of taking what they wanted? Is there no righteousness in Egypt?
12:13 “Say you are my sister” – lie a little, so that I will be protected. Abram uses his wife too protect him. Is that a manly thing to do to your wife? Is this a “little lie”? Why did she agree? Genesis 20:12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother, and she became my wife.
12:14-16 The lie works – Abram gets wealth because of his “sister”. Abram prospered. How many times do our lies profit us?
12:17-20 But the Lord – God intervenes in Pharaoh’s life. Abram is criticized by Pharaoh. Why? Because of the Lord, not because of Abram. Whose reputation is at stake here? Pharaoh recognizes the power of God. Abram has no answer for Pharaoh. God protects us whether we deserve it or not!