Genesis 12-15

Click here for today’s reading

There is SOOOOOO much in today’s read.  We literally could spend the rest of the year in just these 3 Chapters.

Genesis 12 — The Lord said to Abram, LEAVE EVERY thing (his country, his people, his father’s house), and …. GO to a land I will show you.  AND IF Abram would obey God, God made him PROMISES!  Abram was GOING without KNOWING!!!  Verses 1-9 are PROMISES, not the Covenant….. yet.

What did God promise him? 

  1. Make him a great nation (specifically the Hebrew nation and eventually all who call on Jesus Christ).
  2. Bless him (and we will see this in his long life, his offspring, his career and his wealth so he could have something to feed his family with and negotiate with those in power whose lands he would pass through).
  3. Make his  name great (and we are STILL talking about him TODAY)
  4. You will be a blessing (Abram is NOT sinless or perfect, yet we will learn that because Abram BELIEVED God, called him righteous as well as his friend …. So when Abram sins …. Still keep your eye on his CHARACTER).
  5. I will bless those who bless you (we will watch this unfold)
  6. And curse those who curse you (and this one too)
  7. All people on earth will be blessed through you (YES.. JESUS is a descendent of Abram).  THIS is why it is SO important to note the Genealogy when they are recorded. 

See Acts 3:25-26 (NIV)

25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” 

I looked up a few names in the (BLB) Blue Letter Bible www.blueletterbible.org which were:

  1. Bethel – which means “house of God”
  2. Ai —  which can be seen in the KJV as Hai means “heap of ruins”
  3. Abram – “exalted father”
  4. Abraham – “father of a multitude” of “chief of multitude”
  5. Lot – “covering”
  6. Sarai – “princess”
  7. Sarah – “noblewoman”

Who all went with Abram when he left ALL he knew?  Abram, Lot, and Sarai, his wife).  Why Lot?  If you recall, Abram had two brothers, Nahor and Haran.  Haran was the father of Lot.  Haran died and Abram took his nephew to care for him.

I ENCOURAGE you to begin using the BLB because it is GREAT resource.  It can really open the meaning of much of what you are reading.  Pick a name (or word)… any name and look it up.  If you read a different version than the KJV which I do, you may need to put in the actual verse like Genesis 12:8 since they different versions use different words from the KJV.  HOW do you use it for a concordance? Once your entry comes up, on the left you will see several small boxes.  Click on the “C” for concordance.  A box will come up listing each word in the scripture.  Click the number to the right of the word you are looking at.  Another page will open to show you the Hebrew word, it’s usage and MUCH MORE.  It’s awesome!!

Abram is doing so well.  He GOES.  He builds alters to God and SEEKS God daily.  He and God have a GREAT constant relationship.  And then .. RUT ROW. Beginning in verse 10 we see there was a famine in the land.  The scripture states Abram went DOWN to Egypt.  Did you see ANY thing about Abram asking God if he should leave the land where the famine was, or where he should go???   NOPE NOPE NOPE.  (Ouch.. ouch.. ouch)!!  NOT only did his fear drive him to take action to “get out of dodge” but he tells his wife to tell the Egyptians she is his SISTER.  RUT ROW again (yes.. I actually write things like this in my Bible).  The Scripture tells us Sarai was beautiful and she MUST have been “some kind of wonderful”.  Sarai WAS his half-sister (yes you read that right) so it was just a “little white lie”.  Abram knew that because of his wealth, IF Sarai were identified as his wife then he could be killed so the Egyptians could take all he had including his wife.  I mean… makes sense to me.  BUT… when Pharaoh found out (because the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh)…… it was NOT good.  Abram, Sarai, Lot, and all his possessions were sent packing!!  Pharaoh could have killed him, but God had greater plans!!!  Abram was totally disgraced and disrespected in front of an ENTIRE nation. (OUCH)

Abram was not completely TRUSTING God yet, although God made him promises.

Chapter 13 – When Abram went UP from Egypt to the Negev (with Lot and Sarai) they ALL had become quite wealthy wanderers, Nomads, tent dwellers. Quarreling began between Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen because of the WEALTH (no different than modern world… I’ve seen MANY families come to blows because of wealth.. have you seen it??).  Verses 5-7 states:

But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together.  And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. 

Take special note of the way Abram settled the quarreling   Although God made the promises to Abram … Abram allowed Lot to PICK the land he wanted first.  This is what I mean when I say take note of Abram’s CHARACTER!!  Abram was a peacemaker, unselfish, willing to sacrifice, had pure motives, and restraint of power … AND he was communing with God!!  GUESS what land Lot picked!!!  He picked the land that “appeared to be the best.”  BUT… oh … he was right in Sodom and began to FIT RIGHT IN.  (ouch, ouch, ouch)!!   Abram appeared to take the left overs …. But look what happens!!  GOD… comes and speaks to Abram, HE commands Abram to walk the entire length and breadth of the land HE was giving him.  THEN Abram moved his wife, servants, possessions to Mamre of Hebron WHERE HE BUILT an altar to the LORD (Character – check) 🙂

Chapter 14.  Lot is fitting in pretty well to his surroundings.  Suddenly WAR breaks out. 4 conquerors from the East (note that these kings came from Shinar aka BABEL – see Genesis 11) come against 5 kings from the Siddim valley. Lot had taken NOT account as to how wicked the area was and now he was CAPTURED probably because of his WEALTH!!!  Abram RESCUES Lot. (character-check 🙂 he showed unselfishness, he risked his life, took immediate action at great risk and cost, showed great love, and had pure motives ).  And what happens to Lot after the rescue… HE GOES BACK TO the wickedness, he was comfortable there, he had respect, and all his family and belongings were there. (Ummmmm….???)

Now two kings enter the picture.  ONE is Melchizedek.  (You check out to see who the other king was…. note how Abram too a stand with him, again risking his life with the king of Sodom…whoops I let it slip.. you read the rest.)  NOW…. Are you ready for this??? You may have heard the name before from the New Testament (Jesus was a Priest for the Order of Melchizedek Hebrews 7).  BUT who is this man??  Hebrew Tradition says he is the son of Shem (Noah’s son); however, we really do NOT know. Out of NO WHERE this King of Salem comes to accept the FIRST TITHE!!  (ALSO–Salem in the BLB means “city of peace” – the FUTURE Jerusalem).  He breaks bread and wine with Abram. HE ALSO BLESSES ABRAM!!!  Hmmmm …. Could this be a foreshadow of the Body of Christ??  Is this the first Eucharist?   If you have time, check out Hebrews Chapter 7!!

Genesis 14-18-20 (circle it, underline it, highlight it)

Then Melchizedek king of Salem  brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,  and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator  of heaven and earth.

 And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Can you see how much foreshadowing is in those two verses.  Could Jesus have made his first flesh appearance before Abram??  I don’t have the answer, but each time I read the Scriptures God is pointing out something new to me.  There is SO much in each WORD that there is no way we can take it all in even if we read it every day for the rest of our lives.  BUT… isn’t that SO like God to keep our reading exciting for us.  It makes it so exciting to know we will see SOMEthing we have NEVER seen before each time we read HIS WORD.  ISN’T GOD LIKE THE KEWLEST … AWESOMEST GOD!!!   Whether it was Jesus or not the Shadow of Him is real.  Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness” or “King of Peace” (Salem).  This was 600 years BEFORE the priesthood was dictated through Moses as a Levitical line (NO.. you haven’t missed that part yet…. we will get there next month ). 

See, before sacrifices were organized by God when the nations were being created the head of the household (oldest male) made sacrifices (we saw this in Job 1).  Since the beginning of time God ALWAYS knew (remember Adam and Eve when God sacrificed an innocent animal … thought to be a lamb… to make the skins that COVERED them).  There MUST a substitutionary death for atonement (to cover OT or clear NT our sins).  The point is that MELCHIZEDEK who shared with them the bread and wine, comes out of nowhere, on behalf of the God Most High (STOP….and MEDITATE on this foreshadow!!!).

AGAIN… are you looking at Abram’s CHARACTER… building altars TO GOD, living to worship and commune with God, loving, believing, learning to trust God, obeying, etc. His character is for certain one to follow.  It is THE reason the Lord chose him, God KNEW his HEART.  Abraham was living near the Tree of Mamre (the tree of Strength… from the BLB), and he along with only 318 (PLUS GOD) were able to defeat the entire armies to rescue Lot.  God gave us Jesus, OUR TREE of STRENGTH and our RESCUER to prepare us for and save us from the battles we will face daily.  God tells us in 2 Corinthins 10: 4-5 (KJV)

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

He also GIVES us what we need to fight the battles … not in our own strength but in HIS.  Check out Ephesians 6:11:18 (KJV)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Two more verses I want you to see

Isaiah 52:12 (NIV)

But you will not leave in haste
or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

And Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a GARMENT OF PRAISE
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

LOOK AT ALL GOD GIVES US SO WE CAN FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT… AND WE ARE NOT FACING BATTLE ALONE… JESUS IS WITH US… GOD IS OUR REAR GUARD!!!  WHEW!!

Chapter 15   Chapter 12 was the “promise” of the Covenant.  Here God ratifies the promise as a Covenant.  What is the difference you ask?  A Covenant is sealed with a sacrifice or blood.  Chapter 15 is the sealing of the Covenant.   NOTICE ALSO THAT GOD IS NOT MAKING A CONTRACT WITH ABRAM … (A contract is all about ME ME ME).  GOD IS MAKING A COVENANT.  A COVENANT is about WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU).  God then continues to tell Abraham EXACTLY how God will unfold His plan (as we learned in Job it will never make complete sense to us as mere humans BUT….  GOD knows everything).   Look at 15:13

Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.

If you have a study bible you will see in your margin or at the bottom a cross reference to Ex 12:40. (Exodus 12:40)  Look it up!

 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.  At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions left Egypt.

Chapter 15 verse 8!  Abraham says “How will I know” “How can I be certain”.  Am I the only one that also asks God questions He has already given me the answer to, yet I ask HIM — How am I certain?  The answer is BECAUSE there was a sacrifice.  Just like the Lord took an animal and shed its blood so the skin could cover Adam and Eve; HE directed Abram to shed the blood of animals to seal His promise to Abram, He ALSO did that for us!  But this time He sealed that promise by sacrificing something much more precious.  For us, He put Jesus on that table so that we could know for certain that he would be sealing that promise.  Throughout the Old Testament we will see a constant form of sacrifice. The sacrifice covers us, protects us, and gives us an assurance of what we Will possess.

All of Chapter 15 should be read very slowly, there is so much in there to know.

When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

WE are now Abraham’s descendants.  NOTICE –The Lord promised the covenant, The Lord Initiated the covenant, and the Lord Confirmed the Covenant.  SOME thing very important in God’s covenant with Abram was that HE DID make the Covenant with Abram, but HE SWORE it between HIMSELF.  Did you notice that Abraham fell into a darkness (and was dreaming about his future descendants in slavery) and when he awoke … God had walked through the middle of the slain animals (look at the above scripture and see what “passed through the pieces”…. God and God.  Usually two men walked through the middle of slain animals showing they each made a covenant with each other.  HOWEVER, God KNOWS our sinful nature. THEREFORE THIS Covenant could NOT be broken because God swore it BETWEEN AND TO HIMSELF.  Yes… it was with Abram… but between God and God… THEREFORE an UNBREAKABLE COVENANT!!!!

Are you singing a round of the HALLELUJAH chorus yet???

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