Abram from UR was called by God. God literally spoke to him a few times. This should not be something that we take lightly. After calling out his name, God sent Abram from all that he knew to “the land I will show you.” This is crazy because not many had heard God speak (only Adam & Noah before him). But it is also crazy because people didn’t move around a lot in those times. That lead to death. So the fact that Abram left all that he knew is a big deal.
“I will bless you.” This blessing came so that he would be a blessing to others. We are given so that we give.
“In you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Abram was to be a catalyst of blessing to everyone in the world. This is our calling as Christians today also.
Abram was 75 when God spoke to him. Abram had no kids but God spoke of his descendants filling up the whole earth. Abram went to Canaan, a place that would not be his families until after 400 years in Egypt and 40 years wandering the desert.
God told Abram “to your offspring I will give this land”. The Canaanites were living there but God promised it to Abraham. He had a special purpose for His people and nothing would get in the way of that. Abraham then built an altar there.
In verses 10-20, the Bible says there was famine so Abram and company went to Egypt (the first mention of Egypt is here). Abram was scared that they would kill him because of his wife, so he had her lie and say he was her brother. She was actually his step-sister so technically, he only told a half-truth. But still a lie. So Pharoah takes Sarai as his wife and God thus sends plagues (1st mention here – think about the Exodus story and plagues) to Pharoah. Pharoah then discovers the lie and sends them away.
The Bible says that “Pharoah gave men concerning him”. Does this mean that he wanted to kill Abram or that he was looking out for them? I’m not sure about this and didn’t look up any commentaries right here. Interesting to note though.
For God to say that Abram would become a great nation is very significant because his wife is barren and he has no kids (seemingly all but impossible too). He is also very, very old. It is also important to note that God says he will “make your name [Abram’s] great”. This is the direct opposite of the tower of Babel incident in chapter 11.
“Those who bless” (plural) and “him who dishonors” (single). It is very interesting to note this distinction between plural and single. More people were blessing him than cursing him. That sounds so appealing to me. But it is points out that following is both a blessing and a curse. At least as to how people treat you. God calls us to bring about blessing in people’s lives.
This is a great passage of Scripture and I was blessed for having read it.
What sticks out to you about Genesis 12:1-20?