Thoughts on Genesis 12-15

Back to Genesis!

By the way, if you’re looking for short posts… this ain’t one of them.

I’m actually glad to get back to Abraham and the familiar stories that will be coming up next in my reading. Job, you were interesting to read about, and I am glad that your story was written down so that I could learn from it, but I’m excited about getting back to the covenant promises that I knew were coming next when I left Genesis 11.

Abram found favor with God. We know this because in Genesis 12:1, God speaks to Abram. He tells Abram to leave. Go. I’ve got bigger and better things for you, and they aren’t in Ur.

I’ve always been impressed with Abram. Abram didn’t delay his obedience (which would be disobedience,) he grabbed his family and their lives and headed out. God shows him the land of Canaan and says that Abram’s offspring would inherit that land. It is a pretty cool story.

What is up with the part about Abram pretending that Sarai is his sister?

Adam walked and talked with God… and then disobeyed and ate the apple.
Noah walked and talked with God… and got drunken and disrobed (never understood why that was entirely wrong…eh)
Abram walked and talked with God… and then acted on his own, lost faith that God would protect and provide.

So far we’ve seen three men with pretty impressive resumes when it comes to dealing with God, but like all men, we fall short. Way short. We can’t do it. Sin is in all of us. Only Jesus was able to defeat it.

So Abram pretends puts on a charade for the Egyptians and pretends that Sarai is his sister. They fall for it. It is interesting that Pharaoh actually seems to be the better man in this situation.

Next in chapter 13, we have Abram and Lot who are running out of room. I can imagine that they’re kinda like those folks on TV’s Hoarders. They had animals and people and food and all kinds of stuff and they were out of room.

After the ordeal with Pharaoh, it appears that Abram has gained a little more faith in the ultimate promises that God has offered. Abram allows Lot to choose the land that he wants (even though Abram could have selected first) Abram is possibly reminded of that promise of Canaan.

In Chapter 14 Abram takes 318 Delta Force operatives into Sodom to rescue nephew Lot. He ends up bringing back Lot and Lot’s people and Lot’s possessions and women and people. When they return, Abram goes and meets this guy named Melchizedek (Priest of God Most High) and has a concert of praise and sacrifice to God. There is another moment where Abram could have been greedy and taken some possessions for himself, but he passes on the offer. After this situation, God appears to Abram in a vision and renews, reminds and reestablishes his covenant with Abram.

Chapter 15 is such a great chapter. God lays the word on Abram. This time, Abram speaks back to God. Abram has grown closer to God through the years, and now wants to know how God can make it happen. “Behold, you have given me no offspring.”

You can imagine Abram laying there with the stars and constellations all around. God asks him to look at all the stars. If you are able to number all the stars, so shall your offspring be.

Wow.

I think this is one of the reasons that I love space so much. It is the fact that I think about God throwing them all into place. The stars are mathematically perfect. The stars are epically orchestrated for us to listen to. Our human brains and even our strongest super computers can not comprehend the size of it all. God opened up Photoshop and wanted to see how far he could stretch the canvas. And you know something else, I do believe what science has discovered. I do believe that the cosmos is expanding. When God looked at it all and said it was good, He is able to see it as a completed project.

Abram is laying there looking up, and God says, “Count them, Abram… You’re more special to me than they are.”

Verse 6 is so important. Not to be missed.

Abram believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

I know that running through the Bible Chronologically… it is gonna be a LONG time before I get to the debate and argument that Paul lays our regarding justification in Romans. Just mark this verse down, cause we’ll come back to it.

Next, God allows Abram to see the 400 years that his family is going to spend in bondage. Abram, who has been to Egypt probably saw familiar scenes and places. But God promises to bring judgment on that nation. But God also promises that Abram’s bones will come back to be buried in the land of his people’s inheritance. Just another of the many promises that God keeps. Even the little ones can’t be messed up by time of human intervention. God promises, and you can bank on it.

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6 thoughts on “Thoughts on Genesis 12-15

  1. I’m actually doing the chronological Bible reading this year, although I started a bit earlier. I got behind though so you’re now ahead of me. (I’ve got to make this a priority for myself.)

    I always did think that Pharaoh did act as the better man to Abram when he found out the truth of who Sarai was. I think that’s an example to us all: Good Christian people can make foolish decisions & non-Christian people can make “good” and wise decisions. For whatever reason this reminds me of the Lady Gaga incident a few months back of her tweets about the “church” (I use that word kindly here) of Westboro Baptist. She seemed to take the high road by telling her fans to not interact, and in fact pray for (I’m not sure what she meant by that but anyway…) them.

    Being moral is subjective to our own code of morality though. God’s standard is what we have to ultimately live up to. Which is impossible on our own.

    Okay, enough of my thoughts tonight. I need to get reading myself.

    • Thanks Charlene for commenting. If you’re not on a youversion reading plan, do so. They send you friendly reminders if you don’t plug in your status.

  2. Genesis 12 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. The correlation is not always made, but this is actually the very beginning of the Great Commission that we read in Matt. 28. God calls one man that he will use to create one nation. Through that one nation, all the nations of the world (us) will be blessed. It’s an awesome view of God’s plan of redemption from the very beginning of the Bible.

    • Excellent point about the great commission. I’ve heard that before too, but it was a long time ago in a church far far away.