One of the most important people in the Old Testament, Abram was the person that persuaded his father, Terah, to start his journey from Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 11:31). As important as he was, Jesus placed him in perspective by saying “Before Abraham was born I am.” (John 8:58)
The Call of Abram (Gen. 12:1-3)
Genesis 12:1 “The Lord” - He is there and He is not silent. “had said” –See Acts 7:2 for the chronology.
“Go from your country” – Ur of Chaldees was Abram’s country. “your people” – Chaldeans were different from Haran which was 600 miles away from Abram’s country.
“your father’s household” – The household of Terah – Abram did not leave Terah until Haran.
“to the land I will show you” – Abram knew where he was going. Abram to become a traveler. He started on a pilgrimage. His focus was on the vision that God gave him. He looked to a land. He was to make progress.
*Believers are travelers on the road to see what God will show them. See Hebrews 11:8-10
Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.”
The Big Question:
Why? Why Abram? Why this much? What prompted God to make such an outlandish promise to Abram? Do we know? Can we know? Does it matter whether we know the mind of the Lord in this matter? What does this promise reveal about The Lord God Jehovah? Maybe God believed in Abram. Maybe God saw Abram’s life as a whole and He believed in Abram? Was Abram a good man to deserve or (more likely) did God grace him?
Abrahamic Covenant = Land, Seed, Blessing. From Pentecost (Thing to Come):
Covenant – a legal contract in which the contracting parties agree to a certain course of action.
Ultimate Purpose of God – To Glorify God – Both covenantal and dispensational theology agree.
Gen. 12:3 God’s blessing and cursing is both personal and universal.
· “I will bless those who bless you” – Extension of God’s blessing to those who bless (say and do good things for Abram). In other words, Bless Abram – you will be blessed of God.
· “whoever curses you I will curse.” – God retains the power to control His friends and His enemies. An enemy of Abram is an enemy of God.
God and Abraham at the time of the covenant – God could have manipulated Abram. But that is not the characteristic of God. Instead, God made Abram a job offer:
· Travel – You must leave town to get a better job.
· Real Estate – land management.
· Protection – personal.
· Family – he needed a large family for workers.
Gen. 12:4,5 Abram was 75 years old when he set out from Haran. His father had died. His brother did not travel with him. Lot, a nephew, was with him. Sarai, his wife with him. All his possessions with him – not a temporary arrangement – moving for good! His people were with him. “And they arrived there” – Nothing about the journey. Everything about the destination. This part of the journey was not significant.